The Florida State Men's basketball team kicked the 2011-12 season off in style with its first practice on Friday night.
The 'Jam with Ham' at Seminole Madness took place in the Leon County Civic-Center in front of over 2,000 fans. The team arrived in the arena in a limo lead by a police escort as pyrotechnics shot off inside the arena.
Then one by one the players were announced over the PA system as they emerged from the stretch hummer.
"The entrance was pretty cool," senior guard Devidas Dulkys said. "We didn't expect that. They didn't tell us until 10 minutes before."
As the teams success has grown, reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament last season, so has the Seminole Madness event. Held in Tully the first few years, the team needed a bigger venue for this year's event.
"It's more than I could ask for," senior forward Xavier Gibson said. "I came here and we didn't even have one my freshman year, this is great."
After entering the arena in style the team ran through pregame warm-ups dribbling drills before the three-point shot contest.
Dulkys and fellow senior guard Luke Loucks advanced to the finals. Dulkys defeated Loucks 7-6 to end Loucks' two-year run as the three-point champion. The majority of their shots came from NBA-range just inside the giant mid-court Seminole logo.
After winning the dunk contest the past two years Dulkys was hoping for clean sweep at this year's event. But he was disqualified from the dunk contest after he Loucks celebrated their alley-oop by grabbing a cheerleaders pom poms and doing their best Terrell Owens impressions.
"I had a goal I wanted to win both this year," Dulkys said. "I got 2 out of 3, I won the game and won the three-point contest, but got disqualified for dunk contest-can't use props."
Instead of Dulkys it was Gibson who won the dunk contest. The 6'11 big man clinched it with a few 360 dunks that he threw down with authority for back-to-back final round perfect scores.
"It's been a long time coming," Gibson said afterwards. "I've been trying for two years to win. I'm so happy to win it for the fist time."
In addition to the two individual contests the team also participated in 12-minute scrimmage. The game was a fast-paced up and down affair that didn't showcase the Seminoles calling card--defense.
"It was obvious that we didn't display any of that number one defensive intensity tonight," head coach Leonard Hamilton said with a smile. "But the kids had fun and the fans had fun and that's what it's all about at the beginning of the season."