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UNA tips off basketball season with Purple Pandemonium event.

Free, open-to-the-public event hosted community for three-point shootout, dunk contest and half-court shot challenge.

FLORENCE, Ala. — The buzzer went off on the game clock at Flowers Hall at 6 pm. It signaled the first time this season that North Alabama basketball would play in front of fans. UNA celebrated the arrival of basketball season with their Purple Pandemonium event, free and open to the public. Fans got to meet the players and coaches and enjoy a three-point contest, skills challenge and even participate in the fun with a half-court shot challenge.

Head women’s coach Missy Tiber says it’s a chance for her team to just be kids.

“They just get to have fun before the stresses and the rigors of the season begin,” she said before the event. “It's just a fun night just to go out there and laugh together and enjoy the community that just comes out and supports us.”

Much of the attention for Tibor’s team will go to Skyler Gill - a sophomore named to the Sherl Miller Forward of the Year and Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year preseason watch lists, well-deserved honors, says her coach.

“She’s put in the work to lead us,” Tiber said of Gill. “She's been a tremendous leader on and off the court and I think as she goes, the program will go as well. But also, we've got some nice players to put around her this year.”

“We're very excited,” Tiber added. “We have some good size and athleticism, and we shoot the ball really well.”

Men’s coach Tony Pujol told the crowd this year’s team has done more than any other to support each other and that fan engagement would take it further.

“They’ve done a really good job, working hard over the summer and in the fall,” he said. “I can tell you there’s energy and enthusiasm when we come out here and play in these kinds of events and your energy and enthusiasm is going to take it to another level.”

He then turned his attention to the players, “not only do I want to thank all of the fans for coming out here, but I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the student-athletes.”

Pujols’ standout performer of the night was Deraje Agbaosi who took home the dunk contest crown.

The Lions tip-off the new season on November 7th with a doubleheader. The women face Chirstian Brothers at 11 AM, then the men take on Oakwood at 7.

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