Men’s and women’s basketball teams hold ‘Buckeyes on the Blacktop’ for first time since 2016

The Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball teams came together and hosted the Buckeyes at the Blacktop event on Thursday for the first time since 2016.

With shooting stars and slam dunk contests as well as a five-on-five exhibition, the basketball courts near the Physical Activity and Recreation Center and Ohio Stadium drew hundreds of students and fans who participated in hoop activities.

Junior forward Zed Key, who participated in the 3-point contest and had six shots in one round, said he was pleased to see the turnout for an event planned and hosted by the two programs.

“I was looking forward to this,” Key said. “Buckeye Nation showed up, and they had good energy.”

Freshman guard Roddy Gayle Jr. caught the eye in the dunk contest, facing freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh in front of four judges – including third-year quarterback CJ Stroud and former guard Joey Lane.

Gayle won the dunk contest after catching a lob from graduate guard Isaac Likekele and throwing a 180 degree slam.

“Certainly officially the best. They all know I’m the best,” Gayle said. “Brice, I think, he’s a great dunker. It has terrific hops. He’s a one-legged jumper. I wish I was a one-legged jumper, but honestly, he’s amazing.

Sensabaugh won the 3-point crown by knocking down 14 shots in the two innings he appeared in. Main guard Taylor Mikesell fought Sensabaugh in both rounds of the 3-point contest, recording double-digit marks in his showcase.

The event began with a Shooting Stars challenge in which participants had to make a lay-up, a free throw, a 3-point shot and a half-court. Junior Redshirt guard Madison Greene – who missed all of last season with a knee injury – knocked out senior forward Tanner Holden in the final round, after passing senior Redshirt forward Justice Sueing in Game 1.

Sueing, who suffered a groin injury that sidelined him for most of last season, said he enjoyed stepping onto the pitch and seeing the faces of the fans in the crowd.

“It’s been a minute, especially for my absence last year,” Sueing said. “Having the fans here, being able to interact with them and just putting on a show, have fun with it. It was great.”

The men’s team closed out the event by splitting into Team Scarlet, with Gayle and Likekele and Team Gray, led by Key, Sensabaugh and Sueing.

A 10-minute first half saw Team Gray command a 36-25 lead going into a break and then the second half would end with an Elam Ending, which turns off the game clock and sets a target score adding eight points to the lead team’s total. .

Sueing helped Team Gray end the exhibition quickly, starting the second half with a 3-pointer and leading to a Sensabaugh dunk. The veteran Buckeye dumped a 3-pointer before Team Scarlet responded with points.

The event prefaces the start of the seasons for both the men’s and women’s teams, which begins Nov. 7 against Robert Morris for the former and Nov. 8 against Tennessee for the latter.

Key said that while he hasn’t played on a basketball court with double-rimmed hoops like those at the PRPP since he was in his home state of New York, playing with his teammates in front of the campus crowd was nice.

“When we drove the bus here, it was very crowded,” Key said. “But I’m glad we had this event. We haven’t had one since I’ve been here, and I’m glad a lot of people showed up and showed us their love.