Oct. 15, 2011
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By Brandon Naidus
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - To open their seasons, UCF men's and women's basketball teams welcomed fans for UKNIGHT Madness, Friday at the UCF Arena.
Over 2,000 UCF supporters were in attendance for the free event.
The festivities officially kicked off with the men's and women's basketball player introductions. Senior A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) capped of the introductions with a cartwheel.
The men's basketball team ran through some drills, while head coach Donnie Jones spoke to the crowd. Jones explained the drills to the fans and how it helped the players get better. He also poked fun at some of the players.
The players were not the only ones taking part in the action. The UCF band, KnightMoves and the cheer team also performed.
Fans and disc jockeys competed with and against players from the men's and women's teams. In the three-point contest, each team's shortest player faced off in the final round. Rompza beat Leo Montalvo (Orlando, Fla.). With his victory secure, Rompza took a few shots from out-of-bounds.
"It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed myself," Montalvo said.
She had the support of her teammates, who rushed over to heckle Rompza during the final round.
"They definitely always have my back," Montalvo said.
For the three-ball contest, the team with seniors Dwight McCombs (Chicago, Ill.) and Aisha Patrick (Rockledge, Fla.) won when McCombs swished a halfcourt shot.
After that, two lucky students had the opportunity to shoot from halfcourt for $8,000 towards tuition. Neither one was able to hit the shot.
Freshman Kasey Wilson (North Port, Fla.) edged out redshirt sophomore Tristan Spurlock (Woodbridge, Va.) in the slam dunk contest. It was the last chance for the players to show off their skills to the fans before the teams host their home exhibition games. The men's team will take on West Virginia Tech on Nov. 5, while the women's team will host Lynn on Nov. 6.
Emcee Jon Evans then addressed the crowd, before the night concluded with an autograph session. Both teams signed autographs for fans and posed for photos.