Back in November, the Brock Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams were welcomed with open arms to play in the Meridian Centre and showcase their talent to a much larger audience consisting of current students, alumnus, university staff and the local community. With such success, the Badgers are proud to announce that they will be playing in the Meridian Centre again this Wednesday versus rival school McMaster starting at 5:30 p.m. Brock hopes to beat the crowed attendance of 2,887 from the last game held at the St. Catharines arena.
Before the historic game the Badgers wanted their fans to build a better connection with the Brock athletes. To do this, some of the Badgers top fans were welcomed to attend an open Brock Basketball practice. This allowed the fans to watch how the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams prepared for games. Following the practice, fans were encouraged to participate in a press conference with players and coaches.
The fans were able to ask questions to Brock Basketball players Dani Elgadi, Nolan Mackenzie, Kate Harpur and Aryn Finley. Brock Women’s Basketball head coach Si Khounviseth, Brock Men’s Basketball head coach Charles Kissi and new Brock Director of Athletics Neil Lumsden were also part of the press conference.
Organizer of the open practice and press conference was Fan Engagement Manager Bawie Nsame. Nsame is also the coordinator of the #WeAreReady team at Brock, along with Mohamed Hassan.
“We’re always looking for ways to connect the student-athletes with people who come support them,” said Nsame. “With a big game on Wednesday, I think this is just another great way to bring people together. Getting to hear from the athletes and find out how they feel [about game day and everything around it]. It builds that connection [between the fans and athletes].”
During the open practice fans were able to witness the hard work that is put in ahead of games for both the Women and Men.
In two separate practices, Khounviseth and Kissi would have their team’s run drills as they explained why they were practicing and why it was important.
Overall, fans were impressed with Kissi’s ability to understand when his team was about to commit an error. For example, Kissi had to stop the practice a couple times when he could sense his team was about to commit an unforced turnover. Kisi wanted his team to avoid getting into the habit of making mistakes ahead of such a massive game.
Overall the open practice and press conference were a huge success. A great way to hype up the Badger fans ahead of the Meridian Centre game and what’s to come with playoffs right around the corner.
Lumsden, who has only been the Director of Athletics at Brock for under a week, is excited to see what’s to come on Wednesday, as this will be the first big event during his Brock career.
“It’s an opportunity for me to take in a game on a different level,” said Lumsden. “I wouldn’t consider taking any credit for what’s gone on because it’s all about the people who are already here. So really this allows me to sit back and have some input on how we can leverage this game to the best of our abilities and create some hype [for the future]. I’ve been involved in big events so it’s the little things like this that allow for an opportunity to reach out to the community and allow for us to maximize new recruiting.”
The women’s team kicks off the excitement on Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. in the Meridian Centre while the men play at 7:30 p.m. versus divisional rival McMaster. Tickets for the Meridian Centre game are available at the Walker Complex front desk for students. They are also available on Ticketmaster for the community.