Will Wade previews upcoming basketball season and Tip-Off Celebration

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Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 7:26 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Now that school is back in session, so are sports! We’re speaking with men’s head basketball coach Will Wade this morning as the team prepares for their upcoming season.

The team is already doing morning workouts several times a week to keep them sharp, but their first official practice will be on Sept. 25.

McNeese State University’s Head Basketball Coach Will Wade said that continuing to work in preseason keeps consistency and also builds a work ethic.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming season. We’ve started our preseason work right now,” said Wade. “Earlier this morning, we did our individual workouts and some of our individual group work where we work on parts of what we do in groups of three or four individually, and then once we start practice on the 25th, we’ll tie all that together with a little bit more 5-1-5,″ said Wade.

Wade said not only is he new to McNeese, they also have 11 new members on the team, adding to their additional roster.

“We have 11 new players out of 15 on the roster. So you got to get all those guys blended in and get those guys used to what you’re doing,” said Wade.

Wade says it can be a challenge but it’s more of an opportunity to teach them.

”It’s been exciting, it’s a challenge every year, it’s the fun part of coaching, it’s the fun part of the job is getting everybody on the same page,” he said.

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Power forward Christian Shumate has played basketball at McNeese for three years. He said that preparing for the upcoming season has been good and exciting.

“We’ve already started getting to work and done a lot of work, it’s only the beginning,” said Shumate.

The men’s basketball team’s first game is set for Nov. 6, and then their first home game is on Nov. 10.

“I know that seems a while away but it’s coming. It’s coming quickly, so really, really excited about the season, really excited about our team,” said Wade.

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The new season doesn’t just stop with workouts to prepare them for the first day of practice on September 25, but the team also has a Tip-off Celebration on September 21. This event will consist of an auction and dinner, and will allow the public to interact and meet the team.

“We’ll have tremendous food as we always have in Southwest Louisiana: little jambalaya, some chicken, some sausage, some boudin. So that’ll be really good. And we’ve got a live auction as well. We have some just tremendous experiences. So it’ll be a fun night and it’ll really get our season off to a good start,” said Wade.

Tables are $1,000 and can be purchased HERE.

The Cowboys are nearing the completion of their 2023-24 schedule, which will be released in the coming weeks.