Tide Tipoff gives basketball fans a season preview

Alabama’s basketball programs hosted the first annual Tide Tipoff event at Coleman Coliseum on Oct. 27. The event allowed for fans to come out and get their first taste of both the men and women’s teams before the start of the season.

“I am so fired up and eager and excited about the future of both programs,” said Alabama women’s head coach Kristy Curry.

The event featured different activities for the crowd’s enjoyment. The teams were introduced individually, as well as the coaches. Both coaches received thunderous applause from the many Crimson Tide supporters that came out.

“When you see both programs with passion and energy, it is contagious,” Curry said.

The night began with both teams participating in a dance competition in which players from both teams had to mimic a dance created by Alabama’s dance team, the Crimson Cabaret. After both teams performed (which featured an outstanding solo performance from freshman guard Lawson Shaffer), the men’s team was crowned the winner by a fan vote.

"I didn't know Lawson could dance like that, so we're going to have a lot of fun,” said men’s basketball head coach Avery Johnson. “We've got a lot of things from tonight that are going to go really viral on social media, if it hasn’t gone there already.”

The teams then participated in a casual, controlled intrasquad scrimmage. This would be the first time that fans got to see both teams in action playing against their fellow teammates. The game featured lots of play geared towards the fans, including multiple three pointers and dunks. Senior Arthur Edwards, a transfer from New Mexico, got the crowd off of their feet with a driving, one-handed dunk near the end of the scrimmage.

Both teams then participated in a three-point contest. Each team competed against members of their respective side. Shaffer took home the men’s crown, tallying up 17 points during his round. On the women’s side, senior Khadijah Carter beat out sophomore Hannah Cook in a tiebreaker after both sides finished round one with nine points. Carter knocked down all five of her shots in the tiebreak, making her the champion on the women’s side.

The men’s side moved on to participate in a dunk contest, starring freshman Brandon Austin, freshman Donta Hall and senior Retin Obasohan. The event was judged by Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland, Alabama golfer Emma Talley, Big Al, weatherman James Spann and the World Boxing Confederation’s Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder.

Each completed dunk was greeted with great reception from the fans, with Obasohan’s first dunk sending shockwaves through the crowd.

“Sometimes, when you miss that first dunk or the second dunk, the juices start flowing,” said Johnson. “I thought they put on a great show.”

The entertainment for the evening, Rae Sremmurd, closed out the event by playing their hits, including “No Flex Zone.” In a moment of team unity, the two rap artists danced with both squads while blaring Drake and Future’s “Big Rings.”

“You saw all of us pulling in the same direction, as we are all about Roll Tide,” Johnson said.

Alabama basketball kicks off the season with a double header, as the women will take on Alabama A&M, while the men face off against Kennesaw State on Nov. 13.

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