KOKOMO, IN - Nearly 400 excited fans filled the stands as the Indiana University Kokomo men’s basketball team played its first home game against the Bethel College Pilots on Thursday, November 17.
The pre-game party allowed Cougar fans to join together for food, music, and fun, creating excitement for the game, sponsored by the IU Kokomo Alumni Association.
“It’s awesome to be a part of the first home game,” said Junior Skylar Bagwell. “I love sports, and I’m thrilled to support the Cougars.”
Chancellor Michael Harris also offered his support of the first home game.
“It is an exciting time for Indiana University Kokomo as we celebrate the first home game of the men’s basketball team. These events help create a sense of community, build school pride, and enhance the overall college experience,” Harris said, who set the vision for competitive sports on campus. “I am extremely grateful to those who have worked so hard to make this happen.”
Just before the start of the game, the IU Kokomo Crescendos sang the National Anthem followed by leading the crowd in singing the IU Fight Song.
A sea of red t-shirts filled out the official student section, “The Cougar Crazies,” organized by the Student Athletics and Wellness Board (SAWB). Cheers and chants echoed through the gymnasium as they supported their team.
“The student section shows the pride this group has for their school,” commented Kathryn Stremiecki, coordinator of programming and applied learning at IU Kokomo. “It’s so fun to watch students get engaged and come together to support the Cougars.”
The crowd was hyped-up and ready to watch the Cougars show off their skills.
“Bringing sports to IU Kokomo has been talked about for a while, and it’s exciting to see it unfold. I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Senior Geny Studebaker.
The IU Kokomo women’s volleyball team attended to show support for their fellow Cougars.
“I’m having so much fun already,” said sophomore volleyball player Krista Armstrong. “It’s important that us girls are here to cheer on the basketball team. We’ve all worked so hard and need support.”
Although the Cougars started strong and fought to the death, they came up short by one point, ending the game 83-84.
The next home game will be played on Thursday, December 1, against the Goshen College Maple Leafs, at Western High School, at 7 p.m.
Story by Mary Olk, intern for the Office of Media & Marketing
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.