RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina State men’s and women’s basketball teams have been practicing for a few weeks, but just like the old adage about a tree falling in the woods, it wasn’t real to the students and fans until Primetime with the Pack on Thursday.
The event was half party, half practice, and 100 percent fun.
“We’re just excited to have fans,” said head men’s coach Kevin Keatts. “We’re getting ready for the season and this is always the event that kicks it off.”
A few thousand people packed into Reynolds Coliseum for what can only be described as a basketball show. It was just half court with a stage covering the other half. Everyone from the men’s and women’s teams was given an intro complete with the big voice treatment, music, smoke, and a pyrotechnic show that would rival a WWE Raw show.
“I’m excited for our women’s team our men’s team,” Keatts said. “We have a chance to meet some of these new faces and we’re going to have fun tonight.”
Following the intros, the players broke down into several groups for a 3-point shooting contest followed by a skills competition. Each side had to make a lay-up, free throw, 3-pointer, and then a half-court shot. This took some time, but each group managed to finish.
That was followed by a slam dunk competition and a dance-off. The points for the various contests varied because it wasn’t about a scoreboard at the end of the night as much as it was about putting on a show for the people who showed up to support them.
“We have the best fans in the country. I’ve said that all along, and we’ve had the best attendance. I mean, we’ve been top 25 since 1999,” Keatts said. “For our guys, it’s exciting we want to get those (fans) back in the building because PNC will be electric.”
The Wolfpack men’s basketball team plays its first exhibition game at PNC on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. against Elizabeth City State. The Wolfpack women start their bid for an ACC Championship three-peat at Reynolds Coliseum on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.