Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 4, 2016

Primetime at the PERC Peps Fans for Basketball Season

Cass Ratliff

Manchester University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams tipped off their season with Primetime at the PERC on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Black and gold balloons were scattered across the floor and black and gold streamers hung from the gym entrance, creating a festive atmosphere as fans made their way to the bleachers, with raffle tickets and glow sticks in hand. Manny the Mascot roamed the court and the Manchester University dance team and cheerleaders showed off their team spirit.
Holly Beer and Daniel Massucci were the emcees for the night, which began with a dunk contest. Before the event, students were encouraged to post videos on Twitter of them dunking on people. The winner of the Dunk Cam contest was determined by the crowd’s loudest cheering. 
Following the dunk contest, the basketball teams were introduced. The crowd went wild as each one of the women’s players ran onto the court throwing miniature foam basketballs into the sea of fans. The men’s team followed the same routine; however, some players added flare to the night by dancing to their walkout song. A fan favorite was when player Enis Becirevic was introduced and he flipped a water bottle onto the court, which landed on the first try.
Manchester University men’s coach, Gerad Good, and women’s coach, Josh Dzurick, were introduced next, both astonished by the amount of fans sitting in the bleachers before them. “I’m humbled every time I walk into this place,” Good said.
Before the teams began scrimmaging, two $10 Casey’s gift cards were raffled off; simultaneously, T-shirts and more foam basketballs were thrown into the bleachers. Then the teams got down to business.
In the first game of the night, three participants had to make a shot that successively moved further away from the hoop. The first team to hit all the shots was declared the winner. The two teams each had  one men’s basketball player, one women’s basketball player and a fan from the bleachers who was selected during the raffle. 

First- and second-place winners received $15 and $10 gift cards, respectively, to Subway. Two similar games followed with prizes from the restaurants Main View and El Mezquite. 

To conclude Primetime at the PERC, President Dave McFadden led the basketball teams and their fans in the Manchester University fight song. 

The basketball players were appreciative of the evening. “My favorite part of Primetime was seeing all of the people who came and showed their support for Spartan Basketball,” said women’s player Maddy Minehart. “It is so great to be part of a school where faculty, staff and students are engaged and interested in athletics.” 

And sometimes it’s a thrill to be acknowledged. “My favorite part of primetime is when we were being introduced,” said men’s player Mbaye Samb.

The Spartan basketball players are excited to fulfill their goals for the rest of the season. “Playing that last day in the conference tournament is always a goal,” Good said. “Ultimately, you want to help the team meet the goals they have set by guiding them to get the outcome that they want.” 

According to Dzurick, the women always has three program goals: to graduate their seniors, be a nationally respected team and be Spartans for life. 

The men’s team is working on their goals by building chemistry. “Successful teams do that while working smart and hard,” Good said. 

The women’s team is working hard on getting to the next level. “It’s about understanding what they need to do and executing it successfully on game day,” Dzurick said. 
Players recognized that being a part of the Manchester University basketball program is something special. “Since I started playing basketball at the age of 13, I liked being on a team because of the atmosphere and we have a good chemistry on and off the court,” Samb said. “At MU, I know my teammates and I will become lifetime friends.” 

They know it is also something to be proud of. “My favorite part of being a member of the basketball program is being able to represent Manchester,” Minehart said. “Coach Dzurick has built a tradition here and I am proud to play for the school I love. There are so many people who respect Manchester basketball and I am thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”