Oct. 4, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- UAB's men's and women's basketball teams opened up the season in grand fashion on Friday in front of a crowd of 3,850 spectators, who witnessed the Blazers' one-of-a-kind Hoops on the Haasephalt.
Fans in attendance were able to witness a dance competition, dunk contest, a performance by BMX star Terry Adams and an appearance by the U.S. Women's National Wheelchair Team.
Perhaps the highlight of the night came when UAB head coach Jerod Haase made his dramatic entry on a helicopter that landed adjacent to the outdoor court.
"Somebody floated the idea of riding in a helicopter jokingly one time, and I said 'why not?'" Haase said. "That has to be our attitude -- why not -- let's go bigger and better."
For the second-straight year, Hoops on the Haasephalt took place on an outside basketball court. The event began at 6 p.m. when players from both the men's and women's basketball teams signed autographs. The Women's National Wheelchair Team then took to the floor to compete against both teams.
The main event started at 7 p.m. and featured performances by the UAB Golden Girls and cheerleaders, followed by introductions of the men's and women's basketball team's, a 3-point contest and a dance competition with both basketball squads as well as the men's soccer and softball teams.
"The goal for this event is to build excitement," Haase said. "It is a great starting point to the season, it is fun for our guys, it is good for our program and the athletics department."
For more information on the UAB men's and women's basketball teams throughout the upcoming season, follow them on Twitter (@UABAthletics, @CoachJerodHaase and @UAB_WBB) and on the web (www.UABSports.com).