The 2016-2017 Columbia College Basketball team kicked off their season with a trip to see WNBA teams Atlanta Dream and Seattle Storm play on September 4, 2016. Not only did they get a chance to see the game, the team participated in multiple events prior to and during the game. The team was first to enter the stadium to sit courtside and observe pregame routines from both teams, as well as have Seniors Brianna Johnson and Katie Kopp serve as pregame Honorary Captains at mid court. In addition the team assisted with the "Ball Handoff" at mid court after starters for the Atlanta Dream were announced, and were all given an official WNBA basketball.
As the game got started the team was approached and asked for two volunteers; Junior Imani Parr and Senior Kennyatta Gilchrist we more than eager to volunteer. During a break in between quarters they went out to the floor to play Tic-Tac-Toe. After making a shot they'd place their "X" or "O" on a board until someone made enough baskets to win the game – Imani Parr won the contest.
Following the game the team was treated to tickets for a Meet and Greet with 2 of the Atlanta Dream players. Reshanda Gray (#21) and Layshai Claredon (#23) signed autographs for the players and posed for a few photos with the team!
Head Coach Nathan Gregorich said "This trip was filled with great basketball and amazing on court experiences for these young ladies, but more importantly it gave the team a chance to build chemistry and kick off the season together." With 5 seniors and 10 total returning players on the roster this year's Koala's team has high hopes for the season.
The first home game will be held Friday Nov. 4, 2016 against FTSU; Gregorich added "We hope to pack the Godbold Center since this game is also a Fundraiser and "Read with the Koalas" kickoff for Center For Knowledge here in Columbia!" Center For Knowledge (K-5th grade) will receive 10% of the proceeds from the contest and begin their Reading Challenge which runs the entire month of November. The class which reads the most pages during the month of November will get a visit from the Koala Team where they will have lunch together, have the team read a book to the class, sign autographs, and take photos with the class.
For more information on the upcoming season please contact Coach Gregorich at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.