Pep rally introduces players, coaches to fans

The spirit department introduced the men’s and women’s basketball squads at a pep rally featuring music and shooting flames Wednesday evening in Kogan Plaza

“It gave the fans an opportunity to see a different side of the players,” Spirit Director Nicole Macchione said.

A short video clip of the teams from last season was projected on the side of Gelman Library before the introduction of each team. The event, which started at 8 p.m. and attracted a few hundred students, was called “Sprit of the Night.”

The women’s team arrived in a stretch Escalade while the men drove up in a stretch Hummer. Both teams convened on a stage in front of the Kogan clock after being introduced one at a time.

The coaches were also introduced to the cheering crowd; however, women’s head coach Joe McKeown was unable to attend due to illness, and sophomore Noel Wilmore was not in attendance for unannounced reasons.

“We appreciate your support,” women’s assistant coach Tajama Ngongba said. She also asked that students “show ’em how we do it at GW” at the women’s home opener Friday against Maryland, Baltimore County.

Men’s head coach Karl Hobbs received the largest applause from the crowd.

“It’s going to be an exciting season,” Hobbs said.

He told the spectators that the team “needs the fans to shout and scream for the guys” and that “what (the squad) lacks in experience, they will make up with enthusiasm and excitement.”

He also asked that everyone show more support to the women and called for higher attendance at women’s games.

Hobbs ended by asking the crowd to “start harassing Dartmouth (whom the Colonials play in their home opener Nov. 14) from the start.”

The event ended with the playing of the GW fight song by the pep band and a shower of confetti.

The University canceled this year’s Colonials Invasion, GW’s Midnight Madness-type spirit event, and the pep rally was intended to replace it. Colonials Invasion, which last year featured the Harlem Globetrotters, used to take place in the Smith Center.

“It’s nice that a Colonials Invasion-type event wasn’t forgotten,” sophomore Jordan Teller said. “It’s also really nice that the men’s and women’s teams shared the same event. It’s important to support each team equally.”

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