By: Ramona Villegas
From 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cameron University friends, family, alumni and staff gathered to celebrate the upcoming season for the Cameron men and women basketball teams.
Aggie Madness is a welcome back for the fans and student-athletes, also being able to showcase the skills that players will have on the floor this year.
Earlier this week, the Lone Star Conference (LSC) announced their basketball preseason polls, placing the women’s team eighth and the men’s 16th.
There was a good crowd with lots of energy ready to get the madness started.
The night started off with everyone given a single ticket, while the basketball players warmed up. Attendees got a chance to win huge prizes by participating in a contest. The prizes for the winners of the contests consisted of a TV, gift cards and a wireless speaker.
There was also free bottled water and pizza for anyone in attendance.
Walters High School basketball team was on hand to support the Cameron Aggies, along with different basketball players and coaches from surrounding schools.
Kamryn Simien is the current assistant coach for the Eisenhower basketball team.
While she does enjoy basketball, she and her older sister, Kennedi Simien, went to Aggie Madness every year while Kennedi was at Cameron. Now Kamryn Simien has the privilege of taking her younger sister, Kelsey Simien, making Aggie Madness a full-circle event for her family.
“We get to see what the teams are about this year,” Simien said.
Event attendees with winning tickets played multiple games during the evening, including basketball musical chairs, where each contestant had to make a layup and then sit in the chair; a dunking contest with players dunking the ball; and a paired game with players and contestants seeing who could score more 3-pointers.
The spirit team started off Aggie Madness by hyping up the crowd with stunts and cheers.
Senior spirit team athlete Alec Santos has had a great time cheering on the basketball teams during Aggie Madness and for the last three years.
He loves the work that he has been doing on the court, and he is looking forward to this upcoming basketball season.
“The energy of the crowd was absolutely amazing,” Santos said. “I definitely love the support our student body gives to our school.”
After the spirit team hyped up the crowd, current head coach for the women’s basketball team Jeff Mahoney spoke.
Mahoney said he is confident the women on the team will have an even better season than they did prior.
“In the Lone Star Conference last year, we finished 7th last year and our goal is to do better than that this year,” Mahoney said.
Mahoney then introduced every player on the roster starting with number one Zeziah Bachert and ending with number 25 Alannah Gillespie.
After announcing the roster for the women’s teams, basketball musical chairs began.
The beginning was just the warm up for the final two players left in this game with both getting the layup instantly and running back to the chair.
The winner decided to go right for the TV.
Men’s basketball head coach Kevin O’Connor gave a speech, thanking everyone for attending and emphasizing his confidence that this season would be like no other.
“We’re going to play extremely hard,” O’Connor said. “I can promise you that.”
After O’Connor’s speech, he introduced every player on the roster starting with number zero Reggie Prudhomme and ending with number 24 Jaxon Ingram.
After a few more games and the introduction of the spirit team, the highly anticipated dunk contest began.
Number four Levell Brodnex stood out in the contest with a flying dunk, over the head of graduate assistant Adam Gouro.
There were some very intricate dunks from the men’s basketball team; number 21 Thai Elder even asked Ole Kim to hold the ball before he went in for a dunk.
The last dunk of the evening, number 10 Katie King went in with the best dunk of the game getting the highest score by the judges.
King had won the dunking contest two years in a row this being her third win.
Everyone in the stands and the basketball players are anticipating the start of basketball season.
The talent of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams should translate to success for each team during the regular season.
Next up for the basketball teams is their first game playing against Adams State University at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the Aggie Gym.
For more information on Cameron Athletics, visit https://cameronaggies.com/ or follow Cameron University Athletics on Facebook.