Ball should be life for everyone on UIC campus this Friday, November 13th. The day will be jam-packed with fun and basketball, something everyone can enjoy.

To start, our fierce UIC Women’s Basketball team will be having their home opener against the Howard University Bison at 12PM. The Flames will go into this match coming off two home exhibition wins over these past two weeks (99-47 vs Roosevelt and 78-48 vs Indiana-Northwest). The ladies want to take advantage of their momentum and show Howard whose house this is, but they need your help! I’ve seen them play in person and I can guarantee you won’t want to miss it!

Later on in the day, you’ll have the opportunity to see the guys play at their home opener, but not before the TIP-OFF TAILGATE! At the UIC Pavilion parking lot, there will be food, beverages, free t-shirts, and more starting at 4:30PM before Friday night’s game. Invite all of your friends to a great night of fun! UIC students get to enjoy everything free with a valid I-Card.

After all of the festivities are over, it’s game time! Our UIC Men’s Basketball team will be tipping off their season at 7PM vs the San Francisco Dons. The UIC Flames and SF Dons will be battling for the first time ever and it will definitely be a game you won’t want to miss! The Flames go into this match-up coming off a 73-60 exhibition win vs Lake Forest on last week and they need our help to bring that same fire to get another win at home.

If you didn’t get a chance to go the student preview of the Men’s Basketball team last week, you missed a great show. The guys played an inter-squad exhibition with Team Red beating Team Blue by double digits. One player that stood out was freshman guard Dominique Matthews, who played with so much speed throughout the game and showed off his scoring ability really well. The team as a whole showed a lot of heart, hustle, defense and focus on the court, so we all should be excited for what this team’s going to bring to the table this season.

As a fun twist, the players took part in an NBA style mini-dunk contest featuring Najeal Young, Tai Odiase, and Dikembe Dixson. The finalists after round one were Odiase and Dixson, but ultimately Dixson took the dunk contest crown with his fiery double clutch dunk that really got the crowd hyped up. We should be seeing more explosive dunks like that one as the season continues.

In between all the action, it was announced that at every home game this season, students will be given the opportunity to get their tuition paid for by hitting at least one three point shot within the time given and one “make or miss” shot at half court. Sounds like a challenge to me! (Make sure you’re at every home game so that you can have the opportunity to win free tuition!)

After the ballers were done showing their skills, Coach Steve McClain demand all the students take a seat on the court, so that he could speak to the portion of the student body that was present.

Coach McClain: “A lot of you have heard me talk throughout my time of being here. That we want to change the culture here at UIC. That you are apart of what we do. You are apart of winning. You are apart of helping us win. And we’ve done other events, but tonight is the first night I let them put the uniforms on because they were coming out for you guys. And you can help us start a tradition of having the best student section-one of the best in the country. Not in the horizon league, one of the best in the country. And make it a tradition that the games are the place to be. It’s the fun thing to do. We’re going to need you to win. We’re going to need your help. We’re going to need your encouragement. We’re going to need your noise. Because you saw how we’re going to play. We’re going to play fast, it’s going to be fun, there’s going to be dunks, there’s going to be excitement. But there’s going to be a game we struggle, and we’re going to need the crowd to get us going. I also want to tell you this. I went to the women’s game the other night for the first time. [cheers] They’ve got a great team. They’ve got a fun team to watch. Athletics is something for all of you. Whether you played, didn’t play, it can be fun to just come and enjoy the atmosphere. Get out of the dorm, do something, and meet new people.”

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