“This takes a lot of effort. Great festival,” said men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl, thanking everyone who attended. “We couldn’t do it without them and that’s what makes coaching here so special.”
On a court constructed at the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue, Auburn’s men’s and women’s basketball teams held 3-point shooting contests, with Smith and Hughes claiming bragging rights.
“The fans made me have fun with it, competing with my teammates too,” said Smith, the highest-rated freshman in program history. “Just a good experience. This just made me more ready for the season. It showed me more reason why I came to Auburn. This wasn’t surprising to me. I knew what the Auburn fan base was like.”
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) October 8, 2021 Wearing a boot on his right foot while he recovers from Achilles surgery, Allen Flanigan showcased his 3-point shooting skills, making several in a row while hopping on his left foot.
“This just made me more ready for the season.”
“It felt great just to be back out there with the guys,” said Flanigan, who worked on his ballhandling skills while using a wheelchair in the first weeks after his early September surgery. “I’m trying to come back at the highest rate possible, getting my shots up and ballhandling, the things I can do, controlling what I can control.”
After a steady rain Thursday morning, Pearl deemed the court too slippery to permit the scheduled slam dunk contest, but the Auburn basketball fans in attendance didn’t seem to mind. Aicha Coulibaly won women’s basketball’s hot shot competition.
“It was very exciting,” first-year women’s basketball coach Johnnie Harris said. “Our team was prepared for this. They’ve been looking forward to it. They’ve been working hard. It’s really good to see the student body and everybody out.”
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) October 8, 2021
Two days before the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, several Auburn football players attended and joined the basketball teams on stage as the event concluded.
“It’s fun to watch the kids have fun,” Pearl said. “It means a lot that we could be out here with all of our Auburn Family. Excited about the start of our season and obviously a big weekend for our Auburn football team.”
“It means a lot that we could be out here with all of our Auburn Family.” pic.twitter.com/5k42hL5uY8
“They’ve been looking forward to it.”