Coaches with Indiana University Northwest men’s basketball program are hoping to boost fan and player enthusiasm for the coming season with RedHawk Summer Slam, a one-day mini-camp and exhibition scrimmage that will feature current, former and even some incoming players. The July 22 event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at IUN’s Savannah Center Gymnasium. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the scrimmage will begin at 3 p.m.
IUN alumni expected to attend the exhibition include Preston Thomas of Merrillville, Jeff Renn of Hobart, and Lamar Long, Lathaniel Staten and Dejuan Eskew, all of Gary. Summer Slam is the brainchild of RedHawk assistant coach Jim Nelson, who said he hopes to use the event to generate excitement among fans and incoming students about the team’s upcoming NAIA season.
Nelson emphasized that Summer Slam is not an NAIA-sanctioned exhibition, describing it instead as a “friendly scrimmage.”
“We can’t have them wearing uniforms or anything, like that,” the coach said. “But we’ll keep score and have some people there to referee and blow the whistle, to keep their interest up. With the guys who may be coming in, we’re going to bring them in and let them show off their skills, whether that be shooting or aerial expertise with slam-dunks or whatever.”
Nelson said he hopes the prospect of playing basketball in Northwest Indiana while pursuing an Indiana University degree will appeal to local talent.
“We’re trying to use this nice gymnasium as a selling point, that and our enthusiasm for the game of basketball,” he said.
Between 20 and 30 players are expected to attend Summer Slam, and Nelson said if enough players are present, he will hold two scrimmages. He encouraged players’ friends and families to turn out and support the current and former athletes.
For more information, please call Coach Nelson at (219) 508-1284.