Purple Palooza: Men’s and Women’s Teams Introduced to Community to Kick off Season

Tech Athletics hosted the second annual Purple Palooza Tuesday to kick off the upcoming basketball season with some excitement.

 Students and members of the community gathered in the Hooper-Eblen Center to celebrate the beginning of the season with trick-or-treating, a 3-point shootout contest and a dunk contest. Fans also got a sneak peek of what the Golden Eagles will bring to the court this season.

The announcers introduced each player on the women’s team individually before they took the court for the first of the two 10-minute scrimmages.

“It always feels good to be around fans,” Diamond Henderson, junior guard, said. “It is very motivating for us to see all of our fans out in the crowd coming to support us.”

Autumn Hopkins, a freshman guard, said seeing all the support her team was shown just pumped her up for the season ahead.

The Golden Eagle men then took the court to play their 10-minute scrimmage following individual introductions.

“It was a good opportunity to be introduced to the community and the turnout was better than last year,” said Dennis Ogbe, senior power forward. “It showed the new guys what it feels like to play for this community. Our last game was in February and I thought to myself how I wouldn’t be playing again until November, but it was great playing in front of a home crowd again.”

At the end of the scrimmages, fans enjoyed a show as both teams combined for a slam-dunk challenge and 3-point shootout. Molly Heady, senior forward, sunk 11 3-point shots in 30 seconds. Ladon Carter, junior forward, appeased not only fans but judges when he scored three 10s and took the win for the slam dunk contest.

Tech fans were also able to talk to players and get free autographs.

 The Golden Eagle women play their first game of the season at Hooper-Eblen on Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m. against Truett-McConnell. The men will open their season against the South Florida Bulls Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. (EST).

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