The men’s basketball season officially began on Sunday, Oct. 23 with an inter-squad scrimmage. Fans came out to support and display their love as the team rolled out onto the court in full get up. By the conclusion of the passionate game, the Black Team prevailed with a score of 46-44 over the White Team.
Freshman member of the team, TJ Hallice, was nervous about the game, saying that it was his “first time playing in front of everyone.” TJ has been playing since he was four, saying that he “just likes playing” basketball. Hallice believes, and most agree, that Sunday’s scrimmage went pretty well. He said it was really just time for the team to “work out the kinks” and get their heads into the game.
Head coach Bob Hoffman has been coaching basketball for over 30 years, and has been at Mercer for four years. Hoffman said his favorite part of coaching is “interacting with the players, the university community and the outside community.” To get prepared for this season Coach Hoffman began with focusing on the fundamentals of the game, including the physical and mental aspects of it. By getting these fundamentals down packed, the team will get better every day. The team is also focusing on their daily practice. By practicing elements of the game the correct way, the team can become winners. Coach Hoffman saw the scrimmage as a chance to put the uniforms on and let everyone see the team and what they can do. Coach Hoffman said that the scrimmage was more of a “dress rehearsal before the real deal.” It shows what the players need to work on and improve in before stepping into a real game. It is safe to say that everyone is ready and excited for this year’s season.
The goals of the team are unsure as of yet, but TJ Hallice is hoping that through hard work and concentrated skills they, as a team, can end up winning the Atlantic Sun Championship. The Atlantic Sun Championship is to be hosted at Mercer this year, with eight basketball teams competing in a four-day, single-elimination tournament. Coach Hoffman said his overall hope for the team is to “be the best they can be,” and if that means going to a championship, that’s enormous. The Bear’s basketball team has a bright season ahead of them with a lot of talent and skills to take down competitors. They are definitely a force to be reckoned with.
The team’s first exhibition is going to be held on Nov. 3 in the University Center, where the Bears will be playing Georgia College. The goal of this game, besides having a good time, is to bring about the recognition of a different type of fight: the fight against cancer. This Coach vs. Cancer game is designed to raise funds for cancer research, education, advocacy and community service efforts.
Come show the Bears some love and support a good cause on Nov. 3.