Basketball season tips off with Rattler Mania

High flying dunk attempt during Rattler Mania. Photo courtesy: Asia Ussery

The women’s and men’s basketball teams gave an insight to the upcoming season by hosting ‘Rattler Mania’ in the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center.

Rattler Mania started off with Coach Gordon introducing her players and giving fans something to look forward to. Following the girls’ introductions, Coach McCullum gave an inspiring speech about hosting a powerhouse program in The Pit and let the men’s basketball players introduce themselves.

Junior guard Jordan Chatman spoke about why Rattler Mania is important to start the season.

“It is important so the fans can see us, get use to seeing our face and they get a preview of what they’re going to see this season,” Chatman said.

After introductions, the skills challenge began. The players would race against each other, dribbling through chairs and hitting a three-point shot. After the three-point, their teammate had to hit a free-throw to win. Nya Bostic and Ivet Subirats came out victorious from the first game between the girl’s skills challenge. They would also go on to defeat the two men’s winners.

The crowd in Al Lawson started to get more engaged as the next game began. The coach vs. players free throw contest was neck-and-neck, as the players couldn’t quite gain separation from the coaches in the competition.

The men’s basketball team got Al Lawson excited during the dunk contest. Four contestants competed to see who the best dunker on the roster was.

The contest came down to two Rattlers, junior guard Morrell Schramm and junior forward Alvin Tumblin. Both dunkers were impressive, but it came down to one final dunk from each. Morrell attempted a highly difficult behind-the-back dunk but couldn’t get it to go. Tumblin would go on to win the contest with an easy right hand tomahawk dunk.

Redshirt freshman Adefemi Akinwole had a new point of view when looking at the team’s improvement from last season to this season.

“Compared to last season, the chemistry, the team camaraderie, the energy,” Akinwole said. “When we’re all together we all get along together, and we all click.”

Rattler Mania would engage the crowd with a word game, a half-court shooting contest, and a game of tug-a-war. The shooting contest winner would go on to be FAMU running back Lelan Wilhoite.

Rattler Mania would conclude with a three-point contest between the men and women, with the winner being K’Jei Parker.

Coach Gordon had this to say about her excitement on the new season.

“I’m super excited, we’re six days away from opening up in Thompson Bolin Arena, the house that I built,” Gordon said. “My ladies are coming along just fine so I’m super excited and want everybody to tune in.”