This weekend the Lady Rattlers of FAMU DRS will not just have winning on their minds. They will be focused on impressing recruiters, raising money and making history for women’s basketball.
The Lady Rattlers will play in the first DoubleTree Hotel Invitational which will take place in Jake Gaither Gymnasium on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
“The girls are very excited because we are playing a team who we will have to play in the final four,” said Adolf Hicks, head coach for the Lady Rattlers. “They are excited to show their talents in front of the coaches.”
The event, which costs $5, is a fundraising effort for The City Of Hope Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The Invitational is hosted by FAMU DRS and is under the direction of Robert Moramarco, a graduate student at FSU. After having a close friend die from the cancer, Moramarco decided to hold this event to promote women’s basketball and to increase cancer awareness.
“Across the nation there is not a lot of attention turned towards women’s high school basketball,” he said. “I wanted to come up with something special to promote women’s basketball and to help the cause.”
The Lady Rattlers are proud to participate in this event. Not only are they helping to raise money for a good cause, but they are taking the opportunity to show off their talents to various college recruiters.
The invitational is also an opportunity to exhibit the progress that’s women’s basketball has made in the 21st century.
The event will consist of eight teams from Florida’s top high schools. Their competitors include schools from the Elite Eight, such as Bradenton’s Southeast and FSU High. There will also be two Final Four teams in attendance, Melbourne’s Central Catholic and Tallahassee’s own FAMU High.
Highlights of the invitational include seeing some of the best players face off, such as Sylvia Fowles and Jessica Hall. Fowles is a sophomore from Edison known for her dunking, and Hall is one of DRS’ top players and the top recruit for 2004.
The organizers of the DoubleTree Invitational are expecting a huge turnout from both recruiters and basketball fans alike. They hope to bring exposure to not only Florida’s basketball programs but also to Tallahassee’s women’s basketball programs.
The executive director hopes to exceed the record for the most attended women’s games in the state, which was over 2,000 last year.
“It is really good for us that the event is happening around our campus,” said Debra Clark FAMU’s head coach of women’s basketball “We get to see a lot of the players who may be coming to FAMU, and this will give the players more exposure.”