Outdoor Basketball Event a Huge Success
Story by: Corey Eisenberg
On Friday night, Pitt Basketball opened up the 2012-2013 season with a special outdoor event on Bigelow Boulevard. This event was part of Midnight Madness all around the country, the first official day that teams can practice. It was the first time that Pitt participated in Midnight Madness since October 2004, but this year took it to a whole new level with an outdoor basketball court constructed on Bigelow between the Cathedral of Learning and the William Pitt Union.
The night began with player introductions for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The surprise of the night came when head coach Jamie Dixon emerged dressed like Jackie Moon from the movie SemiPro. This outfit consisted of a Tropics basketball uniform, with a brown wig and golden sunglasses.
After the player introductions were finished, the Pitt women’s basketball team put on a three point shooting competition. It was redshirt junior Abby Dowd who won this event. Next up were three skits where the Pitt men’s basketball team along with select members of the Oakland Zoo replicated three classic plays in Pitt Basketball history. To conclude the proceedings, the women’s team came back out and performed a dance, while the men’s team finished things off with a slam dunk contest. Four Panthers participated in the dunk contest: Aron Nwankwo, Chris Jones, Trey Zeigler, and J.J. Moore. Each player did two dunks, with J.J. Moore crowned the dunk champion for the third consecutive year. After being named the winner, Moore decided to do one more dunk as he soared over 7-footer Steven Adams for a crowd pleasing finale.
An estimated crowd of 20,000 attended the basketball event along with other Homecoming activities.