NAPLES, Fla. – The SWFL community got its first glimpse at the defending Atlantic Sun Conference Champion FGCU men’s basketball team Tuesday night as part of a tipoff event sponsored by Moe’s Southwest Grill at the Community School which included a scrimmage, dunk show, 3-point contest and autograph session with the team that captured the nation’s attention last season.
The night began with children lining up alongside the FGCU cheerleaders to great to the team as it entered the court before the Eagles put their high-flying aerial attack on display by throwing down numerous highlight-reel dunks as part of its final pre-scrimmage warmup.
The scrimmage itself pitted members of the team against each other with first-year head coach Joe Dooley mixing and matching his 17-man roster which features eight newcomers but nine returners, including four starters, from a squad which became the first in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed. The two sides – which had some of the same players suit up for both – played four, seven-minute quarters.
At halftime, four lucky fans participated in a 3-point shootout, with one winner claiming a prize pack courtesy of Moe’s. Immediately after the scrimmage, fans in attendance were able to have the 2013-14 schedule poster and T-shirts autographed by members of the team.
This marked 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.
The event was the first time the 2013-14 edition of #DunkCity was on display for the public to see, but an even larger stage awaits on Friday as FGCU is one of just nine schools in the nation that will have ESPNU on campus to televise its Midnight Madness as Dunk City After Dark Presented by Coconut Point Ford is scheduled to get underway 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.
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.