FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona basketball programs took the court Saturday morning at the Walkup Skydome for their first-ever Morning Madness. Fans got their first look at this year's Lumberjack squads through a variety of skills competitions leading up to the Phoenix Suns' open scrimmage.
"An event like this brings a lot of attention to our programs and it gets the community out here," said sophomore Jordyn Martin, who with Bisera Peshkova, won the skills challenge.
The event began with members from both basketball programs competing in a three-point contest. In the men's final, Max Jacobsen beat Ako Kaluna before Amanda Frost took down Avonna Lee in the women's final. The two winners then competed for the overall three-point crown, which Frost drained 12 points to Jacobsen's seven points.
The skills challenge followed with one player from each team pairing to make as many baskets as possible in 30 seconds with different point values assigned to different shots. The pairing of Martin and Peshkova converted for 16 points to defeat Len Springs and Raven Anderson in the finals.
Morning Madness concluded with a slam dunk competition featuring four of the men's basketball players – DeWayne Russell, Travis Meeker, Quinton Upshur and Christopher Miller. Meeker and Russell advanced to the final round, where Meeker's final dunk was awarded a score of 9 and Russell was given a score of 7.
"Today got our teams out there and we're looking forward to a great season," Frost said. "We hope everyone comes out to support both of our teams."
Both Lumberjack teams will continue their preparation for their upcoming season openers. The NAU men's team will host an exhibition game against Arizona Christian on Oct. 30 while the NAU women's team will host Hawaii in its season opener on Nov. 10.