The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga hosted the annual Halloween Hoops event on Wednesday October 30, where parents brought their children to play games, meet mocs athletes and win prizes.
Taylor Dewey, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Promotions for UTC and coordinator of the event, said “This is a great event for students, parents and children to come and have some Halloween fun.”
This event is put on to help kick off the start of basketball season and to help the Chattanooga community get in the spirit of Halloween.
Dewey said, “It gives the fans a chance to interact with the players, get to know them and hang out. Kids can also shoot with them on the court.”
The dance team, the Sugar Mocs, were also at the event and passed out candy to any attending children who wanted some.
Lindsay Greene, a member of the Sugar Mocs, said, “This is just a chance for us to get involved with the community and kids in the community and to get to know everyone.”
Greene explained why her favorite part was getting to play basketball with one of the kids, “We obviously don’t get to play basketball so it was fun to be able to for once.”
Another Sugar Mocs member, Jordan Harris, said, “It’s just a lot of fun with the kids and giving them candy and seeing all their happy faces.”
Autographs signed by the players, inflatables, a craft station, and a Halloween costume contest were all at the event for attendees to enjoy and participate in.
The top three best costumes won prizes that included, basketballs, practice jerseys, and t-shirts signed by the team, according to Dewey.
This family friendly event provided a unique opportunity for fans and kids in the area to interact with the mocs athletes they see play in games all the time.
Dewey said the kids who come just want to run around and shoot hoops with their favorite players.
“They want to play on the court that they feel is so unattainable. The kids just get so excited to run around on the court and make that connection with these student athletes. Then they can come out to the games and say ‘Oh, I know them’ and that’s super cool,” said Dewey.
Many of the women’s and men’s basketball team were playing with the kids that were there. Others were signing autographs at a table for kids who wanted one.
At the craft table, children could draw a picture of their favorite basketball player or their best representation of Scrappy Moc.
The inflatable station had a bouncy castle that kids could jump in as well as a blow-up basketball goal with inflatable balls.
There were many children dressed up for the event. Costumes such as firefighters, fairies, pirates, and ladybugs were all seen.
At the event, attendees can also purchase season passes for all the Mocs basketball games.