FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU basketball fans can get a good look at the 2012-13 version of the men’s and women’s programs this Sunday, Oct. 28 during the athletic department’s second annual Hoops & Halloween event from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Alico Arena.
Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes to the event, while cider and donuts will be served to celebrate the fall and the start of the 11th season of FGCU hoops. Halloween candy will be handed out by coaches and cheerleaders during Trick-or-Treat tours through Alico Arena that give fans a behind the scenes look at FGCU athletics. Autographs and pictures with players, coaches and FGCU’s official mascot, Azul, will be available.
Players and coaches from both teams will be introduced prior to their scrimmages, while door prizes and raffles will be drawn throughout night. The women’s basketball team will tip things off with a green and blue inter-squad scrimmage followed by a three-point shootout in which four players from each squad will compete. The winner from the men’s and women’s team will square off in the championship.
The women will send senior Lerrin Cook (Kearny, Ariz./Ray HS/Yavapai College), redshirt senior Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes HS/Valpo) and freshmen Amanda Moore (Seymour, Ind./Seymour HS) and Taylor Gradinjan (Cudahy, Wisc./Cudahy HS) into the three-point contest. The men will be represented by senior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS), juniors Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) and Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) and sophomore Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS). The women led the NCAA in three-pointers per game (10.7) last season and also set the Division I record for threes in a single-season (342). The men finished 39th in the nation in threes per game (7.8) and 49th in three-point percentage (.374).
Following the three-point contest, the men’s team will take the floor for their live scrimmage and will wrap-up the basketball portion of the evening with a dunk contest. Both live scrimmages will feature a pair of 7-minute halves. Reigning dunk contest champ Eddie Murray (North Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS), junior Jamail Jones (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde Academy-FL/Marquette) and redshirt sophomore Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy/Iowa State) make up the field.
The entire event will run in conjunction with the third annual "Select a Seat Night" where available seats or seat upgrades for the upcoming season will be marked. Fans will get the chance to test out different seats during all the action and those who purchase season tickets during the event will get entered in a special drawing.
FGCU season tickets can be purchased in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by phone at 239-590-7145. The FGCU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Combined season tickets for both the men’s and women’s teams are available again for a combined 50 percent discount. Season tickets for either the men’s and women’s program range from $99-$279, while a combined season ticket (both teams) ranges from $149-$419 depending on the seat location and whether or not an individual is a renewal or new purchaser.
The women’s basketball squad, led by three-time A-Sun Coach of the Year Karl Smesko, Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Brittany Kennedy (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS/Oregon State) and Preseason All-Conference choice Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS), return six players from last year’s squad that finished with a 29-3 overall record and verified the conference’s third-ever unbeaten regular season (18-0) by cruising through the Atlantic Sun Tournament and taking the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. In the A-Sun preseason polls, the Eagles were predicted to take the regular season and tournament crowns by the media and were pocked to finished second in the league by the 10 conference coaches.
Coming off an appearance in the Atlantic Sun Championship game in its first year of postseason eligibility under head coach Andy Enfield, the men were picked third in the preseason A-Sun poll by both the league head coaches and media. FGCU returns eight letterwinners, including all five starters, highlighted by 2012 A-Sun Preseason All-Conference honoree Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS). FGCU returns 85 percent of its scoring, 84 percent of its rebounding and 92 percent of its assists from the 2011-12 squad that won a program Division I record 15 games and became just the sixth team in the 33-year history of the A-Sun Tournament to advance to the title game in its first try.