The Elon University basketball teams kicked off their seasons Friday night with the annual Late Night with the Phoenix pep rally and scrimmage.
Elon’s social media manager, Adam Constantine, emceed the event sharing jokes and interacting with fans.
The event kicked off with the final segment of a social media series airing earlier in the week between Elon basketball teams and Elon a capella group, Twisted Measure. Men's basketball head coach Matthew Matheny doesn’t want his team to get hurt in an event like this but feels it is good for his team to have fun on the court.
“We have a philosophy in our program. We talk a lot about getting better everyday, having fun and playing to win,” Matheny said.
After a shoot-off between students and players, the women’s team scrimmaged for eight minutes and the men's team scrimmaged for 10 minutes.
Junior guard Dmitri Thompson shared his excitement not only for tonight’s event but also for the upcoming season. Thompson hopes for a positive season and to top it off with a CAA championship.
The Elon University men's and women's basketball teams dance to a capella group Twisted Measure's singing at the Late Night with the Phoenix event Oct. 21. Photo by Elisabeth Bachmann.
“I am excited to win a CAA championship – quote me on that,” Thompson said. “We have a lot of guys coming back and I am ready for us to show everybody what we got. We are not a young team anymore and we are here to compete.”
Though it is imperative for the teams to be prepared going into the season, women's basketball head coach Charlotte Smith places a high priority on "the sixth player," otherwise known as the fan, who is important to the game as well. Friday night prepared fans for that role, something Thompson enjoyed.
“It is a great way for the students to see us not just on the court or around campus, but seeing us having a little fun [and] dancing,” said Thompson.
Both teams open their season on Nov. 11, in just 20 days. The women's team will play an exhibition game at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 and the men's team plays an exhibition game at 8 p.m. Nov. 1.