Midday Madness gives promise to upcoming seasons

Slam+dunk+winner+Darreon+Tolliver+shows+off+his+high+rising+ability+in+the+Midday+Madness+Slam+Dunk+competition+on+Oct.+1.+
Slam dunk winner Darreon Tolliver shows off his high rising ability in the Midday Madness Slam Dunk competition on Oct. 1.

Slam dunk winner Darreon Tolliver shows off his high rising ability in the Midday Madness Slam Dunk competition on Oct. 1.

Oscar Day

Oscar Day

Slam dunk winner Darreon Tolliver shows off his high rising ability in the Midday Madness Slam Dunk competition on Oct. 1.

Ryan Dunn, Staff Writer

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If the hype around college basketball wasn’t already exciting enough, the “Midday Madness” event that introduced the men and women’s basketball teams surely did the trick.

Oct. 1 was the kickoff to the upcoming 2013-1014 basketball season and both the men and women looked as excited as ever to get the season going. The Midday event was a preview that introduced the coaches and players for both teams. The event began shortly after 4 o’clock and when the introductions were over, they began a 3-point competition that was later won by sharpshooters Novian Cherry and Karen Kui for the men’s and women’s teams.

They also put on a show with a slam dunk competition for the men’s squad as O’Neil Brauthigam and Darreon Tolliver went head to head in the dunk finale. Both players threw down some electrifying dunks but Tolliver came out on top with an impressive self-given alley-oop to secure the victory.

After the Madness, women’s head coach Michael Hootner talked about this upcoming season. “Palomar won the conference last season. As a team it is always a goal to knock off the previous champs, but we are most looking forward to trying to win our second league title in 3 years.” The Women’s team won their last league title in the 2011-2012 season and are clearly determined to do it again this year.

“Our biggest difference is our new incoming players and the high amount of team spirit our team has shown thus far”, Men’s head coach Ed Helscher explained. Helscher has coached 26 seasons now for the Mesa Olympians and is excited for the upcoming season.

When returning player Mike Vonborstel was asked about the key factors in being a role model for the upcoming season, he stressed that “attitude” was a big one. “Bad attitude is something we had some struggles with last season. As a returning player it is my job to be controlled and calm as well as showing newer players the way.”

There are some impressive new players added to the Men’s team this year, including slam dunk contest winner Darreon Tolliver, as well as 3 point winner Novian Cherry, who had some inspiring comments when talking about the team and its season outlook. “We want to do something that has never happened here at Mesa. We played against a lot of top teams in our summer league and I felt that we performed pretty well.”

Both Mesa Basketball teams looked impressive with their shooting ability and strong athleticism but will it be enough to win league titles? With some positive team spirit and experienced head coaching, both teams are determined to lay it all out on the court to take home another banner to the Mesa Gymnasium.

 

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Ryan Dunn, Staff Writer

19 years old. I was born and and raised in Folsom, a suburb of Sacramento in Northern California. I enjoyed playing golf in high school as I played for...

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