Observations from the Charlotte 49ers Basketball Madness preseason event Thursday at Halton Arena:
• Lots of fun was had with Halloween-themed player introductions. Many players simply wore masks. Forward Willie Clayton went with a toga and flip flops instead of sneakers. Senior guard Ben Cherry, a transfer from Tulane who is already taken on a leadership role on the team, was no nonsense, no mask, no costume.
• Mens coach Alan Major beat his womens counterpart, Cara Consuegra, in a free-throw contest. Major hit four of five; Consuegra three of five.
• 49ers fans got a first look at sophomore guard Shawn Lester, who was academically ineligible last season. Lester won the slam-dunk contest quite easily over walk-ons Mason Wyrick and Reid Aube. Clayton, never the shy type, was a late entrant, but he had nothing for Lester. That might have been because Clayton was dressed in his costume (although he had his sneakers on by then).
• The 49ers mens commitments from the high school class of 2014 Keyshawn Woods and Torin Dorn were scheduled to be in the stands. Woods (Northside Christian) and Dorn (Vance) are both local products.
• The 49ers open their season with a mens and womens doubleheader Nov. 8 at Halton Arena, the men playing East Tennessee State, the women facing Liberty. The men will play Wingate in a preseason exhibition Nov. 2 at 4:30 p.m., with the women going against Johnson C. Smith at 2. The men play a closed-door scrimmage at Clemson on Saturday.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less