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Menís basketball team thrills at Red vs. Blue scrimmage

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The men’s basketball team showcased its talent, competed in shooting competitions and even danced with fans Friday at the Red vs. Blue scrimmage.

The cheer and dance teams pumped the crowd at the Pavilion, cheering “G-O Flames, let’s go!” Then team members ran to center court and were introduced to the cheering crowd.

The Red team beat the Blue team 24 to 18 in the first half and 26 to 17 in the second.

After the game, players competed in individual competitions — freshman Rob Robinson won the three-point contest and senior Paris Carter took the dunk contest.

Carter wowed the audience with his best dunk, catching the ball from teammate Sammy Stutter, who threw it from 10 rows into the stands. Carter caught the ball after one bounce, then dunked with one hand.

Players took turns showing off their best tricks. Center Darrin Williams started his turn by pretending to hold a phone conversation while his team jokingly begged him to showcase his talent.

“I was just trying to have a lot of fun,” Williams said. “I’m thankful for the fans that came out and thankful for the support.”

Originally from Louisville, Ky., Williams transferred to UIC from Wallace State Community College.

“I feel like we’re a lot better than last year — a lot better,” he said.

Redshirt senior Daniel Barnes felt good about the scrimmage, but he agreed that there is room for improvement.

“I want us to work hard for the team and get better,” he said. “We have high expectations, we have a lot of guys coming back and we have a lot of new guys too so we’re going to try to get them prepared for this year.”

After the game, head coach Howard Moore said he has high expectations for the team.

“We want to make sure we improve on every facet of the program and I think we’re headed in that direction,” he said. “We just have to do a better job at staying consistent on what we work on every day.”

Senior Kevin Agdeppa has been cheering on the Flames since his freshman year.

“I expected the scrimmage to be as it is; it’s a little rough around the edges but like Coach Moore said, he expected it to be very rough,” said Agdeppa, a teaching of mathematics major.

Former UIC student Nate Will returned for the game. Although he transferred to Harold Washington College, he’s still a Flames fan.

“I feel like this was a good turnout and that the spirit of the Flames is definitely burning bright,” he said.

The scrimmage was hosted by student group Brothers Reaching Out.

“We invited Coach Moore to a BROs meet and greet and he expressed to me that he wanted student organization involvement in this,” said BROs president Kenneth Vasser, a junior in sociology.

UIC has its first exhibition game at 7 p.m. today against the University of Chicago at the Pavilion.

Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

The Flames cheerleaders and Dancing Flames were out in full force at the scrimmage.

The Flames cheerleaders and Dancing Flames were out in full force at the scrimmage

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