Coach Nick Robinson and freshmen Juwan Major and Race Parsons
SUU Strategic Communications

Southern Utah Celebrates the Start of a New Basketball Season

October 24, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication

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CEDAR CITY, Utah, 10/24/13 – Southern Utah University kicked off the upcoming basketball season with a pair of events designed to give both the local community and the SUU student body an early look at the new Thunderbird teams on Wednesday night. The evening began with the annual “Basketball Bash”, giving ThunderKids and fans the chance to join the teams on the court, followed by the first ever “Chaos in the Cage”, a fanfest for SUU students.

Hundreds of kids and fans showed up for the Bash to tour the locker rooms, shoot baskets alongside their favorite Thunderbirds, get photos and autographs from the student-athletes and Thor and enjoy free Sub Zero ice cream.

“The Basketball Bash was a great success,” commented Thunderbird Club President Jennifer Oberhelman. “We thank everyone for coming out and look forward to doing it again next year.”

 “Chaos in the Cage”, anticipated to ben an annual event featured free Sub Zero Ice Cream and Five Buck Pizza in addition to the team introductions, 3-point shooting competition and slam-dunk contest. The student section in the Centrum Arena was filled to capacity with spectators who came out to get their first look at the new Thunderbird basketball teams. The T-Birds put on a great show as junior guard Hailey Mandelko proved herself to be the best 3-point shooter on the court while freshman Juwan Major wowed the crowd with his high-flying dunking skills.

Head coaches Nick Robinson and JR Payne both thanked the student body for their support and expressed how important they are to a great game environment.

“We need you here and loud at every game,” stated Payne. “Your cheers and enthusiasm make a huge difference for our teams.”

The SUU athletic department also unveiled a new fan loyalty app that rewards students for attending games. By checking in at athletic events fans earn points that can lead to valuable prizes.

“During our Dec. 14 game against UNLV we will be awarding both a male and female fan with a $3,000 scholarship,” announced Robinson. “To be eligible you need to be there that night and at the games leading up to it.”

The new Thor Corps app is available for download online for all mobile devices.

Fans will have their next chance to see the SUU basketball teams as they host a set of exhibition matches next week. The T-Bird women play Dixie State on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m., followed by a basketball doubleheader on Saturday, Nov. 2 as the men host LaVerne at 5:00 p.m. followed by another women’s matchup against Western State Colorado at 7:30. Coverage of Thunderbird basketball is available at