Basketball season tips off

The St. John’s community welcomed the start of the basketball season with the Red Storm basketball tip-off event held at Carnesecca Arena last Thursday.

The showcase included introductions of the women’s and men’s teams, shooting contests, and performances by the pep band, cheerleaders, and dance team.

The event also included a red-white scrimmage played by both teams.

On the women’s side, the White team, which included junior Angela Clark and newcomer Lisa Claxton edged the Red 11-10.

Clark had game highs of eight points and six rebounds in the win.

The White team won on the men’s side as well, 27-19. Freshman Tomas Jasiulionis did not miss, scoring eight points on 3-of-3 shooting from the floor while making both shots from the line to match Clark’s total.

The women’s team was introduced first, and head coach Kim Barnes Arico thanked the crowd for their attendance and addressed the fans.

“We have an exciting team with a lot of people from the area,” she said, with Brooklyn, The Bronx, Long Island, and Staten Island well-represented on the Red Storm roster.

The team’s previous record of 20-11 was capped off by an invitation to the WNIT with Copiague products Kia Wright and Clark garnering postseason honors.

The men’s team came out next and head coach Norm Roberts was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd.

“We really appreciate this,” Roberts said. “We’re working on trying to build a foundation and trying to keep getting better everyday. These guys are going to work hard for you all year long.”

The event was heavily-geared toward the student body, in hoping to bring them out to support the Johnnies’ season.

One of the perks planned for the year includes the “Student Fan of the Game” contest.

The prize for showing the most school-spirit at each game will be the new I-Pod Nano.

The grand prize winner of the season-long contest will be rewarded with catered skybox seats at Madison Square Garden and dinner for the winner and 10 friends at ESPN Zone.

The crowd was showered with numerous t-shirts throughout the night, and prizes included movie tickets and Aeropostale gift certificates.

Perhaps the anticipated highlight of the evening was the $25,000 student half-court shot.

Three students were selected for the final chance, of which each had to first make a lay-up, a free throw, a 3-pointer and then a half-court shot in 30 seconds to win the prize money.

No one was able to get to the half-court shot in the allotted time.

The crowd of 1,000 included a wide range of students, staff, and people from the neighborhood in attendance.

One student, who wished not to give his name, thought that the event needed “more energy.”

Others, such as freshman Bryan Lew Yew Pha thought that the showcase was “well organized,” had a “good atmosphere,” and best of all, was free of charge.

Yet, while many students thought that the tip-off was a success, when asked if they already have or intend to purchase student season tickets for the year, most said no.