Vols “lost another guard, one of the top players at the time…

Tennessee / Knoxville (AP) – Tennessee Lady Vols supporters never forget where a player attended college, especially if it isn’t the player who defeated their team.

Before an exhibition on Sunday night, they let out a loud cheer when Brittney Griner was named the U.S. women’s national team’s first starting.

Coach Kellie Harper of Tennessee remarked, “I actually talked to people that said they were coming specifically to see her and to watch her play.” “And they had grown to love her throughout her challenges over the past year or so, and I was so glad that our fans felt that way about that team.”

The only other player to come close to a similar ovation was five-time Olympic gold medalist Diana Taurasi despite her playing in college at UConn — the biggest rival for the No. 11 Lady Vols.

In Knoxville’s Market Square on Thursday, basketball took center stage for a short while ahead of a weekend that has football as the main event.

The first “Market Square Madness” event unofficially kicked off the season, drawing a sizable crowd for both the women’s and men’s basketball teams from Tennessee. Thompson-Boling Arena is often the site of the preseason game.

Twenty-four hours before to the event’s 8 p.m. start time, spectators gathered around a temporary court.

Spectators flocked neighboring balconies and rooftop restaurants as the crowd increased. A few even dangled from windows.

An hour-long extravaganza that included pyrotechnics, 3-point shooting competitions, and former Tennessee quarterback Sterling Henton’s DJ persona “Sterl the Pearl” was a meager sample size for hoops-starved spectators.

There’s justification for the excitement about

Thursday night, basketball dominated Market Square in Knoxville for a short while before of this weekend, which features football as the main event.

Unofficially kicking off the season, the inaugural “Market Square Madness” event had a large turnout for both the Tennessee women’s and men’s basketball teams. Thompson-Boling Arena serves as the typical venue for the preseason game.

Two hours before the 8 p.m. start time, fans started congregating around a makeshift court.

Viewers swarmed onto surrounding rooftop balconies and eateries as the crowd increased. A few even dared to hang from windows.

For hoops-starved fans, the hour-long extravaganza, which included 3-point shooting competitions, fireworks, and former Tennessee quarterback Sterling Henton’s DJ persona “Sterl the Pearl,” was a small sample size.

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