Tip-Off 2022 Kicks Off The St. John’s Red Storm Basketball Season

Sparse crowds flocked to Carnesecca Arena for the Oct. 21 event.

Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

St. John’s Athletics held their annual Tip-Off event Friday, Oct. 21 at Carnesecca Arena in front of a meager crowd. Fans were treated to a night consisting of  performances, contests, player introductions, an intrasquad scrimmage and a musical performance by BLXST, a BET nominated performer from Los Angeles.

Students were given the opportunity to obtain tickets at 9 a.m. Friday morning, with some students getting there as early as 6 a.m. to make sure they were one of the first people to get their tickets. Student season-ticket holders received digital tickets Friday morning through their ticket account, and did not need to stand in line. Only student season-ticket holders can use a digital ticket for entry.

Carnesseca’s doors opened for Student Season-ticket holders at 6 p.m., and general admission doors opened at 6:30 p.m. Student Season-ticket holders were given red t-shirts along with wristbands that lit up the arena.  After shooting contests by fans along with great music by St. John’s resident DJ, DJ Zeke, the St. John’s Cheer and Dance teams each had outstanding performances.

After the performances by the Cheer and Dance teams, the lights were dimmed again as the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams took the court at 8 p.m. with an electrifying entrance.  Men’s Basketball head coach Mike Anderson and Women’s Basketball head coach Joe Tartamella took the court to say a few words to start the season. “Fans are worth six to seven points,” Anderson said, referencing home court advantages this season. Tartamella said he and his team “look forward to the Tip-Off every year as the kickoff to their season as it makes it real.” Tartamella was also joined by a young fan, King, who was announced to be three-years cancer free, creating the crowd’s loudest and best cheer of the night. 

The fans were then treated to two eight-minute scrimmages from both teams, who were split into red and white jerseys. The Women’s Basketball scrimmage began with preseason All-Big East player Kadaja Bailey leading the team. The matchup ended with the red team edging the white team, 29-27.

After another performance by the Dance team, the Men’s Basketball team followed with their eight-minute scrimmage. DePaul University transfer David Jones had an impressive three-point shooting performance that gave the crowd a great sneak-peek of what to expect from him this season. 

Freshman AJ Storr, the highest rated recruit in the Mike Anderson era, had some powerful dunks in his first performance in front of the Carnesecca Arena crowd. The team’s other highly-touted newcomer, freshman Kolby King, impressed as well. Returning sophomores Rafael Pinzon and O’Mar Stanley all had athletic plays on both ends of the court. 

The Men’s Basketball scrimmage ended in a 41-34 victory for the white team after a display of great shooting in only eight minutes. 

California artist Blxst took the stage at roughly 9:30 p.m. Students were underwhelmed with much of the arena clearing out following Blxst’s appearance.

The official start of the Men’s and Women’s Basketball season is just weeks away. Men’s Basketball has two scrimmages — both at Carnesecca Arena. They face Adelphi Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., followed by a contest with Southern New Hampshire on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. to cap off the preseason. 

Both teams begin their regular season on Nov. 7. The Women’s Basketball team tips off at 1:00 p.m. against Monmouth in Carnesecca Arena. The first Men’s Basketball game is at 6:45 p.m. against Merrimack at Carnesecca Arena.