Friday, October 14, 2011

'Boat's Gonna Steal the Show'

While NBA owners continue to lock out their players to the general disinterest of much of the country, the college basketball season kicks off tonight with great fanfare.

UConn is one of hundreds of schools to kick off its season with First Night festivities this evening. It all starts on Fairfield Way outside of Gampel Pavilion with a Fan Fest. Doors to Gampel open at 6 p.m. and there will be an autograph session with the players from both the men's and women's teams.

After that comes player introductions, etc., as well as 3-point and dunk contests. Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb and Roscoe Smith are all said to be competing in the dunk contest. Hasheem Thabeet says he'll be a judge and may serve as a "prop" of some kind. But the early favorite to win the dunk competition will be 6-foot freshman Ryan Boatright.

"I think Boat's gonna steal the show," Oriakhi said.

Boatright boasts some boundless athleticism (I witnessed a small sampling of it this summer in Greater Hartford Pro-Am action). He should be a fun player to watch tonight, and all season, for that matter.

The Huskies will also have some recruits on hand. Omar Calhoun, a Class of 2012 commit, will be there (he was on campus on an unofficial visit last week, as well), and we're told that Amile Jefferson, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound Class of 2012 power forward out of Philadelphia will also be in the house, among others.

Admission to the event is free.

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