'Runnin' Rebel Weekend' To Feature Downtown Event|
Sept. 28, 2011
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV Runnin' Rebels will welcome in the Dave RiceEra in style. And in a way only Las Vegas can do college basketball.
UNLV Athletics has teamed with the world-famous Fremont Street Experience to present the "Runnin' Rebel Experience," a unique fan event to be held Friday, Oct. 14, in downtown Las Vegas at the Fremont Street Experience. Festivities are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. PT with a short program and introduction of the team set for 7 p.m. PT.
The event is free to the public and entertainment is scheduled throughout the Fremont Street Experience after the Runnin' Rebel event. UNLV fans of all ages are encouraged to attend the event, which will be held at the 3rd Street Stage adjacent to Fitzgeralds, Fremont and Four Queens.
"Runnin' Rebel Weekend" will continue two days later as UNLV will hold an open workout and a Scarlet & Gray scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m. in the Thomas & Mack Center. Attendance is free and doors are scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. PT.
Oct. 14 is the first day college basketball teams can hold official practices for the 2011-12 season. Runnin' Rebel Weekend is presented by RebelSwag.
"It should be a fun night for our fans and for everyone involved with the UNLV program," said UNLV Director of Athletics Jim Livengood about the Runnin' Rebel Experience at Fremont Street Experience. "We are welcoming Dave home and what better way than to be right in the middle of downtown Las Vegas."
"This is Las Vegas' team and we are proud of that," said Rice, UNLV's new head coach, who won a national championship as a player with the Runnin' Rebels in 1990. "This is a way for the community to come together on a fun stage and celebrate the Runnin' Rebel program and what it means to our community. It will be an exciting way to get ready for the upcoming season."
Much of the show on Friday, Oct. 14, will feature the use of the world's largest video screens on the Viva Vision canopy at Fremont Street Experience.
"Downtown Las Vegas will be Runnin' Rebel Scarlet & Gray on Friday, Oct. 14," Rice said. "It's going to be a special sight. It should be a tremendous atmosphere to celebrate what the Runnin' Rebels mean to this city. We hope our fans will come out and support our players."
Players and coaches will be introduced and will also address the fans. Afterwards, players will be available for autographs and photos with fans. Additional activities will be available for fans of all ages.
"Runnin' Rebel Basketball is an institution in this city and Fremont Street Experience is thrilled to team with UNLV to present this unique community event," said Jeff Victor, president of Fremont Street Experience. "These are two pillars of our community working together to help build the spirit of the Runnin' Rebels under Coach Dave Rice. We invite everyone to come downtown to the heart of Las Vegas and rally with the Rebels."
Rice said the two different events over Runnin' Rebel Weekend will give fans the opportunity to see the team in two different lights.
"The Fremont Street Experience event is going to be a fun showcase of our program and give fans the opportunity to meet our guys and talk with them," Rice said. "Then the short workout and scrimmage on Sunday will give fans a sneak peak of our guys on the court. We have a great group coming back, but we have a lot of work to do and are excited about the possibilities. We hope fans will plan on spending the weekend with their Runnin' Rebels."
Coming off a 24-win season, the Runnin' Rebels have made four NCAA Tournament appearances in the last five years. The Runnin' Rebels return seven players, including four starters, from last season that averaged 11 minutes or more per game, and the squad returns 76.5 percent of its scoring from last year, along with 70.9 percent of its rebounding.
UNLV was ranked in the top 25 for multiple weeks last year and closed out the season in the top 25 in the nation in home attendance (No. 23) for the third straight year as well as again being No. 1 on the West Coast.
UNLV's women's basketball team will also kick-off its official preseason with the annual "Rise N' Shine with the Lady Rebels" event at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Cox Pavilion practice gym. Fans are encouraged to attend and gain a preview of the 2011-12 team, participate in a question and answer session and possibly shootaround with the team based on time. Following the conclusion of the event, the Lady Rebels will be available for pictures and autographs on the Cox Pavilion concourse, before attending the 1 p.m. UNLV volleyball match.