Men’s and women’s basketball hosted their annual Hoopsfest on the Hilltop in War Memorial Gym at the Sobrato Center on Oct. 25. The annual event celebrates the men’s and women’s basketball teams as they gear up for the upcoming season. In addition to the free food, drinks, and prizes, they had their annual $1,000 half-court shot competition for members of the audience and a Dons basketball dunk contest.
The half-court competition is the event in which members of the audience and the USF student body attempt to make a half-court shot to potentially win a $1,000 check. For the second year in a row, no one made the shot and left $1,000 richer. Nevertheless, the excitement from the potential prize is a staple for Hoopsfest on the Hilltop.
At the dunk contest, Dons Men’s Basketball players wowed the crowd with 360, reverse, and tomahawk slams. Players Barry Wang, Jonathan Mogbo, Malik Thomas, and Ndewedo “Chips” Newbury starred in the dunk contest. Mike Sharavjamts won the dunk contest after completely dunking over seven-foot-two center Volodymyr Markovetskyy.
This year’s men’s team is headlined by returning members such as Marcus Williams, Josh Kunen, and Isaiah Hawthorne. Also joining the Dons are first-year Ryan Beasley as well as transfer students Mogbo, Thomas, and star international players Wang and Sharavjamts.
The women’s team is led by graduate student and reigning West Coast Conference (WCC) Sixth Woman of the Year, Jasmine Gayles. USF women’s basketball was ranked number seven in the 2023-24 WCC Women’s basketball preseason poll. Gayles was also named to the 2023-24 All-WCC Women’s Basketball Preseason Team.
Since the departure of Ioanna Krimili, their star player and USF women’s basketball all-time leader in three-pointers, the women’s team has revamped its roster and looks to compete amongst the best in the WCC this season. The Dons have some familiar faces returning such as Debora Dos Santos, Lorena Barbosa, and Aya Kéita. Approximately half of the team are new players, amongst their new members are six-foot-six forward Seynabou Thiam, guard Luana Leite, and Paula Tirado.
Both teams are gearing up for the start of the season that begins for the men on Nov. 6 at War Memorial Gym against Bethesda University, and Nov. 3 for the women who take on Chico State in an exhibition game on the Hilltop.
Students can attend all home games for free with the use of their One Card.