With the Horizon League tournament rapidly approaching and the end of the season in sight, Grizz Gang hosted one final event to get the men’s and women’s basketball teams ready to go. Tuesday, Feb. 27 at the O’rena was the place to be as players, coaches and fans all came out to support their teams. It was a fun filled night which had everything from player speeches, giveaways, games and a Greg Kampe impersonation by Xavier Hill-Mais that had the crowd rolling in laughter.
“Anytime there is interaction between students, especially when you watch these guys play and once you know them, it makes you want to cheer for them more,” Kampe said.
The event started with free Buddy’s Pizza and desserts with plenty to go around. After that, Grizz Gang President Jake Wolok got everyone into their seats and was the MC of the night. The seniors on both the men’s and women’s teams gave short speeches to the fans.
“I just wanted to say thank you and I appreciate you guys,” senior guard Kendrick Nunn said. “Thank you for supporting us, it’s been a long season and you’ve supported us the whole way.”
All the seniors said their part and then it was on to the trivia and games. Each basketball player had a question they had to answer given to them by Grizz Gang. It was all generic questions until Hill-Mais stepped up to answer his question to tell a funny story, impersonating his favorite coach.
“It was probably one of the funniest stories that happened this year,” Hill-Mais said. “I figured why not talk about something that he’s made fun of himself and talk about something that everyone thinks is funny. I just brought that out for the crowd, I thought it would be a good icebreaker.”
Everyone was a big fan of Hill-Mais’s impression and many made sure to give him a rating, including Greg Kampe himself.
Cierra Bond- “A solid eight”
Leah Somerfield- “He should of done a little more yelling, but an eight”
Nick Daniels- “Yea that was pretty solid, 10/10”
Brandon Wallace- “Hmmmm, I’ll give him an 8.34”
Greg Kampe- “Ehhhh the mannerisms was around a 10 but the voice was off, I’ll give him a seven.”
Games and prizes followed and there were many happy Golden Grizzly fans leaving the O’rena. Students had the opportunity to face off against athletes in events such as water bottle flip, penny stacker, giant bowling, trivia and many more. The prizes ranged from swag packs, a 32 inch TV and an Xbox One.
At the end of the night, the first-ever pep rally for Oakland basketball was a huge success and many of the players, such as Daniels, appreciate the support.
“It means a lot just to have the fans come out and support us,” Daniels said. “You know they’re always there to support us and it just means a lot to me because this is my last year.”