Students at Basketball Madness. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49eres kicked off the 2017-18 basketball season with Madness at Halton Arena on Thursday. The event was hosted by comedian Burpie from Wild N’ Out. The event featured the introduction of the 2017-2018 men’s and women’s basketball teams, dancing, a three-point contest, a scrimmage and a dunk contest.

Basketball Madness indicates the season is about to begin. It has been a building process for head coach Mark Price and his staff going into his third year as head coach in the Queen City. Price said he wants to see the team to “just continue to grow.”

“This is our third year now, we are not necessarily  young team anymore. We got more veterans on the team this year so we just want to continue to improve as we get better as a team,” Price said.

Entering his third season at Charlotte, guard Andrien White is eager to get on the court with the new set of players this season.

“We are bringing all of our pieces together, recruiting wise is going to be really big for us this year, we got bigs now to help with our backcourt. Overall, I think we just added pieces that all around will help us in every aspect of the game,” White said.

Given his experiences in basketball, White knows what the team needs to do to become a competitive team during the season and into playoffs.

“Basketball has taught me that you have to come in and grind it out and go hard everyday because guys around the country are getting ready just like you are so in order to top those guys, you got to put in the extra work, every play could be the play that’s going to win games or win championships and that’s the ultimate goal,” White said.

The women’s team’s head coach, Cara Consuegra, has been with the team since 2011. Her time with the program has taught her to take time on the basics.

“Our biggest message is we just want to embrace the process and get better everyday and hopefully at the end of the week we are a little bit better than we were at the start of that week,” Consuegra said.

Senior guard Amaya Ransom is looking to have a strong last season at Charlotte.

“Basketball has taught me discipline, never give up and you can do immeasurably more than you think you can do,” Ransom said. “I’m really excited to start the season, I think as practices are going on were getting better each day, and I am excited to see what the season has in store for us,” Ransom said.

The women’s squad will cut their teeth on Nov. 4th with an exhibition game against Coker. The men’s team opens their schedule Nov. 10 with an exhibition game against Methodist.