The roars of the crowd could be heard throughout campus. As the moonlight hit the Supertents it was clear that the roars were coming from the basketball gym.
Inside the gym, Leopard fans were celebrating the first official day of practice for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
“This is amazing,” sophomore Jarred Mendiveles said. “I heard the music and the people all the way from across the school.”
The night began with the men’s and women’s introductions.
Close to 75 fans were ecstatic during the introductions while the players threw mini basketballs into the stands.
Directly after the introductions the La Verne Spirit Squad took the court and put on a performance to M.I.A.’s “Boyz.”
The performance brought the crowd out of their seats.
“It was good,” sophomore Broderick Flores said. “It wasn’t the usual cheerleading performance, which is good.”
The event also gave students and fans a chance to compete in various basketball competitions. Fans were able to compete in a three-point contest, half-court shot competitions and a dribbling skills competition.
“I was hoping they would call me up there,” Mendiveles said. “I probably would have won.”
Fans were also able to catch a glimpse of what they should expect during the season with a scrimmage.
The women were divided into green and white teams and played each other.
“The girls are in good shape,” coach Matt Rogers said. “They look like they’re already in the fourth week of season.”
The white team won and next up was the men’s scrimmage. The men were divided into orange and green teams.
“We have 16 returners this year and we are really excited for this year because we’ve worked so hard,” coach Richard Reed said.
Senior guard Trevor Woodland hit the game-winning shot for the orange team win.
The players were able to show off their outside shooting with a three-point contest.
Eight players participated, four men and four women.
Every woman beat her respective male opponent.
“I told Reed not to take it too hard,” Rogers said. “We were second in the nation in three-point shooting.”
But in the end the finalists were Woodland and senior point guard Raphaelle Buenafe.
In the final round both players hit a total of 16 shots and headed into a sudden death shootout.
In the sudden death shootout Woodland prevailed over Buenafe, scoring 11 and Buenafe scoring seven.
“That was exciting, the girls really impressed me,” Flores said. “I think overall they were the real winners.”
The moment the crowd was waiting for finally arrived, the dunk contest.
Five men’s players entered the contest, but after the first round the contest was cut down to two players.
Senior center Alex Wolpe seemed to be the shining star throughout the contest with amazing dunks that got the crowd out of their seats.
Wolpe received a perfect score for jumping over his teammate, senior point guard John Leggett.
Wolpe capped off the night with one more emphatic dunk that made the crowd roar louder than when it started.
“This group of boys is demonstrating to me that we are going to have the best season ever,” President Devorah Lieberman said.
Christian Orozco can be reached at email@example.com.