How does your school celebrate basketball season?
Do they hold a dunk contest? Or even a 3-point shootout?
At Fairmont State University, they do all of that, and then some.
"It means excitement," Fairmont State Athletic Director Tim McNeely said. "I think there's a lot of people excited about what's ahead during this basketball season, for both men and women. There's a lot of people here and a lot of excitement. We're going to start the season and build on it."
Fans of all ages packed the Feaster Center on Thursday night for the second annual Falcon Fan Fest. It was an idea thought of by current Men's Head Coach Jerrod Calhoun, who has changed the entire culture at Fairmont State.
"I can't say enough about him. He's a verocious fund raiser. There's so many projects going on and capital projects. We're getting ready to unveil a Feaster Center renovation project. He has been invaluable since I've been here, and certainly one of the best fund raisers that I've ever seen," McNeely said.
Students enjoyed a tailgate prior to the event, where Calhoun thanked everyone for supporting the program. Joe Mazzulla is new to Fairmont after coming over from Glenville State in the offseason. He says the Friendly City is unlike any other in Division-II athletics.
"The one thing since I've been here that I've noticed, has been that the community is great. They want to be involved and they're thirsty for a winning program and a National Championship. The community really falls behind us. So I think it's a great opportunity tonight to give thanks to them for all of the help and to let them know that our mindset is to win a championship," Falcons Men's Basketball Assistant Joe Mazzulla said.
At the end of the day...
"I think Fairmont is going to win," McNeely said.
And that, they did.