The next chapter of intercollegiate sports kicked off Friday night at BruinMania with the official introduction of the BJU men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Excitement was already high among students in attendance at the Davis Field House, as the Bruins men’s soccer team had beaten Clearwater Christian 5-0 only minutes before the start of the historic event.
With Mr. Jonny Gamet, Bruins sports information director, doing the honors as the emcee, the night began with a knockout tournament among student participants. Following a giveaway of Bruins T-shirts, the introduction of the women’s basketball team began.
“She’s not silver, she’s Meghan Gold,” Gamet quipped as he introduced the freshman forward from Florence, S.C. Brody the Bruin and the Chick-fil-A cow stood at half court to cheer and high-five the players. The Chick-fil-A cow later gave out free chicken sandwiches, a bonus for students in attendance.
The women played out an exciting Blue-White scrimmage led by the Blue team’s sophomore forward Kourtney Hoefler and White’s counterpart Ginny Gause.
Women’s assistant coach Jon Edwards said the goal of the scrimmage was simple. “Run the offense and pump the crowd up about Bruins women’s basketball,” Edwards said. He added that the team needs vocal fan support. “[The crowd] was one of the best I’ve heard since Midnight Madness,” he said.
Following the women’s scrimmage, another student contest was held before Hoefler gave a testimony about what she has learned so far by being a part of the women’s basketball team. She challenged the crowd that in order to be effective for Christ, we must have a solid foundation in God’s Word.
A game of “four spot” was next on the list of activities. In the game, three-person teams consisting of a men’s and women’s basketball player and a faculty member were required to hit a layup, free throw, three-pointer and half-court shot as quickly as possible.
Dr. Jason “Tower Power” Ormiston received the loudest acclaim from the crowd, but unfortunately his team was unable to convert a half-court shot. The winning team consisted of freshman Kyle Turner, junior Kim Spiecker and Mr. Jason Little of corporate communications (whom Gamet aptly described as “the man who emails you every day”). Turner nailed the half-court shot to complete the challenge in only 40 seconds.
All the fervor and craziness came to a head in the men’s scrimmage when freshman Ray Holden Jr. nailed a monster two-handed dunk off a rebound, making the crowd lift the roof off the Davis Field House.
Men’s basketball coach Neal Ring closed the event by exhorting the crowd to continue to support the Bruins basketball teams and not to forget about Bruins basketball over Thanksgiving break since the first home game for both teams isn’t until Nov. 27 against Emmanuel College.
Afterward, Turner expressed appreciation for the fans’ support and commented that the energy in the DFH was palpable. Teammate Evan Brondyke echoed Turner’s enthusiasm. “It was sweet to play in front of [such an energetic crowd],” he said. “It definitely [gives us] more incentive to work hard.”
With the intense environment inside the Davis Field House, Bruins fans can add their own meaning to home court advantage and ensure that BruinMania continues all season long.