The men’s basketball team let lose its talent and expertise during its first public showing in different events that culminated into a scrimmage game, in which the whole team took part.
The Red and Black Madness was held Saturday and included six different events and a basketball battle royale to raise community awareness.
The six contests were a two-ball contest, 3-point shooting, a beat-the-clock contest, dueling free-throw, and a half-court shot followed by the scrimmage match between players dressed in red and those in black. The final event was a slam-dunk contest at the halftime point.
Head Coach Charles White said he was excited about the event, and as the game started, he saw that the team had worked hard, and it made him proud.
“The team works well together. Each players competes against each other everyday in practice,” White said.
The first event was the two-ball, in which players were told to shoot basketballs into the hoop from five designated spots around the basket. Two partners went up against another pair from the other end of the court to compete and see who could make the most points within a 45-second time limit.
As the two-ball contest came to a close, Jordan Newt and his partner Shonnie Martinez, his mother, were victorious. Each event winner received a gift card to a fast food restaurant.
“It was me and my mom. We went out there and we shot a lot of shots; we had a whole lot of fun,” Newt said.
The second event was the 3-point shooting contest. One player shot at a time, and in the end, there was a tiebreaker between three players, which led to Randale Lacey winning by two 3-point shots.
“I kinda knew going into this event that I was going to win it. I told everyone that I would win, and it was a good game from my teammates,” Lacey said.
The third event was a beat-the-clock contest where each player tried to complete four different shots on the basketball court in just 30 seconds.
Each participant was given one shot to make a free-throw, complete a lay-up, hit a 3-point shot, and go for a no-miss half-court shot.
Team members cheered each other on during the event. Both sides of the court were put to use and Tyquan Neal and Malik Johnson were declared the two winners.
“I didn’t actually think that I was going to make the half-court shot in this event. I was also really excited with the turnout from Pierce today, and it makes me really happy,” Neal said.
The fourth event was the dueling free-throw contest where teams of two tried to make as many free-throws as they could in 45 seconds.
Players stood side by side at the free-throw line and threw their basketballs into the net as quickly as they could. After every shot, a non-participant team member would give the participants a fresh ball so that they wouldn’t have to worry about chasing a ball in case they missed. Partners Myles White and Malik Johnson were the two victors.
“This was a great experience today; it brought us closer as a team. I love my teammates. Also Coach Charles has done a lot for me, so much, that I could thank him a hundred times. I believe that we are going to have a great season,” White said.
The fifth event was the half-court shooting contest which included many of the team members. The only player that was able to make the shot was John Flowers.
“I told Chance Cole that this event was going to be good. He told me he would beat me, and it didn’t happen. I went up there and got the shot. It was a fluke, though,” Flowers said.
The sixth event occurred during the scrimmage match halftime and was the final mini-event that tested the team’s skill level.
It was a slam dunk contest where style and dunking prowess came into play. Each player was judged by three referees overseeing the scrimmage match, who decided who would win based on how amazing they thought someone’s dunk was. Dallas Johnson won the event with a net grab and dunk maneuver that gave him full marks.
“We were all out here today to have fun, and I think that our season will only get better. We all did our best, and we did what we were supposed to do out there,” Johnson said.
The scrimmage match was between members of the team with half of the players wearing red and black jerseys.
The match went on for two 16-minute intervals due to time constraints.
After the slam dunk contest, both the red and black teams continued playing in the second 16-minute interval. The black team won the game 42-37.
White thanked everyone for taking part in the events, and he also thanked the audience for attending.
“Thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting the team today. We are really excited about moving forward, and I know this season is going to turn out alright,” White said.