NAPLES, Fla. – With excitement mounting for the launch of the 2013-14 FGCU men’s basketball season, the preseason Atlantic Sun Conference favorite will unofficially tip off the campaign Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. with a preseason event at Community School in Naples.
Admission is free, but a large crowd is expected so fans are encouraged to arrive early. Doors open at 6 p.m., and upon entering, fans will be greeted by the FGCU cheerleaders and Azul the Eagle. To start the event, the team will be putting on a dunk contest, accentuating how FGCU earned its national #DunkCity moniker.
The game itself – which pits members of the team against each other – will consist of four, seven-minute quarters. At the end of select quarters, a few lucky fans will have the opportunity to catch free T-shirts and compete in a 3-point shootout for a prize pack courtesy of Moe’s Southwest Grill. To finish off the night’s events, the team will hold a postgame autograph session.
Throughout the evening an emcee and DJ will provide entertainment, with the FGCU cheerleaders also energizing the crowd.
This will mark the second consecutive season that FGCU has unofficially began its season at Community School as the program aspires to continue its growth of the SWFL fan base heading into the much-anticipated 2013-14 year.
FGCU returns four starters from a team which went 26-11, knocked off eventual ACC Champion Miami and became the first in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed after victories over second-seeded Georgetown and seventh-seeded San Diego State. The team also earned an ESPY for “Best Upset of the Year” during the summer for its triumph over the Hoyas.
Earlier in the day Thursday, FGCU was picked to repeat its A-Sun Championship performance. Individually, junior Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS), senior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) and junior Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) all earned preseason accolades. Thompson was named the Preseason A-Sun Defender of the Year and Fan-Voted Defender of the Year, in addition to being named to the 10-member all-league team. Fieler and Comer were both unanimous selections to the Preseason All-A-Sun Team, while Fieler earned the fans vote as the Preseason Player of the Year.
The Community School event will commence a busy week for FGCU as three days later on Friday, Oct. 18, the Eagles will host Dunk City After Dark Presented by Coconut Point Ford, FGCU’s Midnight Madness event which will be shown on ESPNU beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is free, but a large crowd is expected. Fans can ensure a seat by purchasing a discounted $3 volleyball ticket as the Eagles will face Lipscomb at 7 p.m.
Fans will then get to see their first game action at Breakfast at the Beach – FGCU’s home opener which is part of ESPN’s 24-Hour Tipoff Marathon. The game versus Hartford will air live on ESPN2 at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and the Sweet 16 banner will be unveiled. Tickets are selling quickly and can be reserved by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets or by calling 239-590-7145.
For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the men’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_MBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUMBB.
2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.