FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU basketball fans can get their first look at the 2011-12 version of the men’s and women’s programs while picking their seat to catch all this year’s action at Alico Arena on Saturday, Oct. 22 when the athletic department holds Hoops & Halloween beginning at 5:30 p.m.
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 10th 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.
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 10-minute halves.
The entire event will run in conjunction with the second 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.
Single-game tickets can be purchased through the FGCU Ticket Office in Alico Arena either in person or by phone at (239) 590-7145 beginning on Monday, Nov. 1. Tickets are also available at www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets.
The 2011-12 edition of the FGCU women’s basketball squad, led by preseason All-Conference selections senior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) and redshirt sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS), earned top billing in the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason coaches’ and media polls. Tenth-year head coach Karl Smesko and the Eagles return eight players, including four starters, from last year’s 28-4 squad that won the program’s second A-Sun regular season title and made its fourth consecutive WNIT appearance. Hansen, a 2011 A-Sun second team All-Conference performer and All-Freshmen team honoree, is FGCU’s top returning scorer (13.3 ppg) and rebounder (5.8 rpg).
Led by first-year head coach Andy Enfield, the men’s team returns six players from last year’s squad that would have qualified for the A-Sun Tournament, if eligible, by finishing in seventh place. Sophomore Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) leads the group of returners, Enfield also ushered in a talented five-member freshmen class since being appointed the program’s second-ever head coach on March 31.