Gym Red 29 Shelby County product Tyler Madison shines in UAB's Hoops on the Haasephalt dunk contest Watch UAB sophomore Tyler Madison throw down a sick two-handed reverse windmill at the third annual Hoops on the Haasephalt event Thursday October 9, 2014.
There are plenty of new additions to UAB's men's basketball team.
This year, the Blazers will welcome nine players, including six freshmen, who weren't a part of last year's squad.
But it was a familiar face that captivated the thousands on hand at the Hoops on the Haasephalt, , the most.
Sophomore Tyler Madison won the dunk contest, inviting UAB's cheerleaders to form a tunnel beside the lane as he capped off the final with a spinning two-handed flush to take home the title.
"I didn't expect to win myself," said the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder, who was a fan favorite from the onset. "With Tosin (Mehitni) and Rob Brown, I didn't expect to win myself. When I saw Tosin, do his dunk, I just went over and asked them if they could help me out. So, I thank them for doing that."
The event, which took place at Bell/Ullman building parking lot, was a family affair for UAB, , and a fitting launching point for the 2014-2015 season.
Set against the backdrop of homecoming weekend, the Blazers' volleyball, women's soccer team and football team, which will , as well as the cheer and dance squads all made appearances before the hoops teams took over the show.
Third-year Blazers' coach Jerod Haase, the event's namesake, made his entry onto the court before introducing his team and addressing the crowd.
"The students were fantastic. We need Bartow Arena to be a big, big homecourt advantage, said Haase said. "We need the students there and the rest of the people. Tonight was a great showing of the type of fanfare and the type of support we have."
Birmingham Mayor William Bell participated in the festivities as did several local television personalities and members of the Bravo reality series "Jersey Belle".
However, it was a high school student who received the biggest recognition from the crowd.
, considered the state's top recruit in the class of 2015 by many, was on hand and was greeted with chants of 'We want Dazon' from the crowd at one point. The 6-4, 190-pounder has dwindled his final list down to UAB, Alabama, Wichita State and Middle Tennessee St.
The men's basketball team won the dance competition against the women's squad, donning masks and top hats while grooving to various popular tunes, including Drake's "0 to 100".
Forward C.J. Washington showed off his improved stroke from the outside during the 3-point competition. The 6-8 Augusta, Ga. native averaged 13 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting 33 percent from 3-point range.
"It just brings us closer together," Washington said of preparing for Hoops on the Haasephalt. "We have that tight bond already but just coming out here, showing the fans and everything how close we are, it's even better."
UAB begins its 2014-2015 slate Nov. 15th at home against Louisiana-Monroe.
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