Boom Shakalaka excites fans for upcoming season

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Cheryl Rose attends Boom Shakalaka with her husband, BYU basketball coach Dave Rose. (Universe photo)
Cheryl Rose attends Boom Shakalaka with her husband, BYU basketball coach Dave Rose. (Universe photo)

The men’s and women’s basketball players excited fans for the upcoming 2014–2015 season with a packed Smith Fielhouse Friday night at “Boom Shakalaka: The BYU Basketball Showcase.”

“This is a fun night,” senior forward Josh Sharp said. “It’s cool to have a relaxed environment to compete and have a good time with both teams.”

The event started with a 3-point contest. Teams consisting of a men’s and women’s player alternated shooting racks with five basketballs each. The first four balls on each of the eight racks were worth one point each, and the final ball on each rack was worth two points — giving each team a possibility of 48 points.

Anson Winder and Cassie Broadhead advanced to the final round by scoring a first-round-high 24 points. Kyle Collinsworth and Makenzi Morrison scored 20 points and, having hit more money balls than Skyler Halford and Xojian Harry — who also scored 20 points in the first round —advanced to battle it out against Winder and Broadhead. Team Winder wound up winning the contest 16-15.

“It was awesome,” Broadhead said. “We didn’t really have a game plan. We just caught fire. We’re both number 20, so that probably helped us.”

BYU women’s coach Jeff Judkins and former BYU women’s basketball great Erin Thorne stole the show, scoring 27 points in one round of 3-point shooting after the current players had competed.

The team, consisting of Nate Austin, Jordan Ellis, Micaelee Orton and Hannah Packard, won the skills competition. In the competition, four teams of two men’s players and two women’s players tag-teamed through a course of dribbling, passing and shooting obstacles.

At the end of his team’s run, Ellis hit a half-court shot, cutting 10 seconds off his team’s time and securing the win with a time of 1:03 — three seconds faster than the time put up by the team of Kyle Davis, Jamal Aytes, Morgan Bailey and Maddy Ziering-Smith.

“I saw that we were really close to their time, and I just put it up,” Ellis said of his half-court shot. “Sometimes you get lucky at the end.”

In the dunk contest, Sharp captured the title, beating Corbin Kaufusi in the finals. Players dunked in front of five judges, who each gave dunkers up to 10 points.

Sharp and Kaufusi advanced to the finals, scoring 46.5 and 45 points in the first round, respectively. Sharp’s dunk was thrown down with his back to the basket, as he jumped up and pumped the ball down to his shoes and then up behind his head for the slam. On Kaufusi’s fan-favorite dunk, he took a snap in football pads and a helmet, evaded three defenders and soared from the middle of the key for the dunk.

In the finals, Sharp used an off-the-glass assist from teammate Jordan Ellis and finished with a left-handed dunk, garnering 45.5 points on his first dunk.

Sharp recorded the highest-scoring dunk of the night on his second dunk in the finals. Standing behind the backboard, Sharp tossed the ball over the backboard then jumped from the middle of the key, throwing down a reverse dunk for 47 points.

Kaufusi was unable to accomplish his dunks as planned, and Sharp went home with the title and a grin.

“We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this,” Sharp said. “I just put together some dunks I wanted to try, and they worked out.”

After this event, the men’s basketball team prepares for its annual Blue/White game.

Visit BYUtv.org to watch the replay of Boom Shakalaka.

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