By Joe Pantorno, Assistant Sports Editor
On Saturday, Oct. 23, the Hofstra University men's and women's basketball teams welcomed the Pride faithful to the Mack Sports Complex for the Hofstra Basketball FanFest.
Doors opened to the public at 3:00 pm when fans of all ages could partake in activities from Dave and Busters and the Long Island Children's Museum and also have food from Outback Steakhouse and WingZone.
At 3:30 both the men and women's team took the court for a usual practice. The only difference was that there were almost 1,000 people watching them go about their daily routine.
Each team's head coach came out to mid court and introduced their rosters. It was men's head coach Mo Cassara who had a bit of news for the crowd as he announced his new set of tri-captains, seniors Charles Jenkins, Greg Washington and Nathaniel Lester.
With the court split with the men on one side and the women on the other, teams did their usual lay-up and shooting drills before they partook in a few shooting competitions against each other.
The men hit the benches after the shooting clinics to watch the women's team split up and play eight minute halves of five-on-five in the team's annual blue-white scrimmage.
"We backed off our defense so they could showboat a little bit," said head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. "But we will get after them and we're going to have a great time."
It was the men's turn to scrimmage against each other next and Cassara's side was ready to show the fans the Pride's new look under new management.
"They did a good job," said Cassara. "They put on a little bit of a show. I hope nobody thinks that's how we coach defense everyday but we had a long practice this morning so it was just good for them to get out on the main court and have a few people in the seats and have the fans and friends have the chance to see them run up and down the court a little bit."
Both coaches reveled in the open practices and really enjoyed the atmosphere.
"I think it's the best FanFest we've ever had," said Kilburn-Steveskey. "And this is the start of my fifth year so I'm really excited about it."
"I thought it was a great day and a turn out," said Cassara. "A lot of kids, a lot of season ticket holders and some new faces which I'm really excited about."