Proud: Kent State Athletics Teams Give Fans a Season to Remember
Kent State University fans who could not make it to California for the big dance had their own party with Hoopin’ at the Hub. The watch party at the Kent State Student Center Hub on March 17 celebrated Kent State’s Mid-American Conference Champions men’s basketball team.
Students and Kent State community members cheered on the Golden Flashes as they took on the UCLA Bruins in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Fans at the watch party were treated to free food, music and giveaways. Though the evening ended with a loss, Kent State fans continue to revel in the outstanding athletics achievements, including those by the winning women’s basketball and gymnastics teams.
“It gave students and locals a great option to be on campus to cheer on the Golden Flashes in a high-energy atmosphere,” says Liz Henry, assistant director of marketing. “The Kent State community really came in to rally and support the Golden Flashes. They did a great job getting where they were, and it was just a great time for Kent State.”
T.J. Christie, director of revenue enhancement and fan engagement, described the crowd as “phenomenal.”
“We’re playing one of the most historic teams in the country; we’re competing with them; we were close the entire game with opportunities to pull ahead – it was just a great feeling of excitement for the entire university,” Christie says. “You had donors, constituents of the university, families, friends of families; everybody included in the university came out in full force.”
Hoopin’ at the Hub was a part of the celebration for a number of successes and achievements by Kent State Intercollegiate Athletics teams. Christie says the accomplishments help to bring national distinctiveness to the university.
The Kent State women’s basketball team made it to the first round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. The team posted a memorable season, which ended with a loss to the University of Michigan. The Mid-American Conference named Kent State senior guard Larissa Lurken its Player of the Year and head coach Todd Starkey Coach of the Year. Lurken is the first Kent State Golden Flash to receive the MAC’s highest honor since 2006. Starkey is Kent State’s first Coach of the Year since 1998. Junior Jordan Korinek was also honored and named to the All-MAC Second Team.
Kent State gymnastics also took home notable awards with junior Rachel Stypinski winning 2017 MAC Gymnast of the Year. The gymnastics team posted a 194.850 team score to finish sixth at the MAC Gymnastics Championship. Kent State is currently awaiting notification of where the team will compete at the NCAA regionals.
Find more information about Kent State Intercollegiate Athletics here.