By (Cody Estremera)

The Alabama fan base wanted something different than just a normal tip off to the season, and coaches Avery Johnson and Kristy Curry complied.

The Tide Tipoff, which has just been a scrimmage in the past, took on a new format this year. This year the event was set up just like the NBA All-Star weekend, with the three different competitions and a live music performance.

“What coach [Curry] and I were after was fan enthusiasm,” Johnson said. “There was a great energy in the building.”

For the skills and the three-point contest there were three teams. Each team was made up of a men’s player, a women’s player and a fan. The team made up of Jordan Lewis and Corban Collins won the skills contest, with a time of 46.2 seconds. Donta Hall won the dunk contest for the second straight year, with a total of 136 points.

The Crimson Tide brought back former alumni to judge the dunk contest, including former men’s basketball players Mo Williams, Gerald Wallace and Jim Farmer along with former women’s player Nikki Hegstetter and CBS reporter Allie LaForce.

“It’s great to see our celebrity judges come back,” Johnson said. “To have former NBA players here means a lot. When we say celebrity judges we have a whole list that we could have chosen from.”

Students came out in full support of the tip off, filling up two different sections.

“I think when you talk to the players, there’s nothing more powerful than students supporting students,” Curry said. “it means the world to our players to have fans supporting us. The fans are the team behind our team and we need them.”

This is the first of many times students can watch the women’s team play at Coleman Coliseum since the team is moving back after six years at Foster Auditorium. Curry said that playing in Coleman is a step forward for the program.

The women’s team kicks off the year with an exhibition game against West Alabama on Nov. 4 while the men’s exhibition is on Nov. 3 against Faulkner.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports