ESTERO — Florida Gulf Coast University's men's basketball team is branching out for its only open-to-the-public preseason scrimmage.
The Eagles will play at the Community School of Naples at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24.
Admission is free.
"Our goal is to try to generate excitement and entertainment value for the community, especially for the younger basketball players - both boys and girls - within Southwest Florida," said second-year FGCU coach Andy Enfield.
"So we decided to have a preseason game away from campus this year to try to make our players more accessible to some of the youth groups and high schools so they can come to a smaller setting and see a college Division I scrimmage up close and also spend some time afterwards and meet our players and coaches and interact with us."
The format will be four quarters, like high school, as FGCU will also host a $500 Fan Shootout, a 3-point contest and drawings at the end of quarters. Afterward, fans can mingle with and get autographs from coaches and players.
FGCU's cheerleaders will work the game.
"It's a chance for our basketball program to take our show into the community and try to generate more interest," Enfield said. "This is a real preseason Blue-Green game with officials."
FGCU, which went 15-17 last season and made a stunning run to the Atlantic Sun tournament championship game on national TV, returns all five starters. The Eagles easily beat three pro teams in the Bahamas this summer and have thus far been tabbed second or third in the early A-Sun forecasts.
Enfield said FGCU chose Community School because its gym sports a college-length floor (85 feet) and is centrally located at 13275 Livingston Road, just north of Pine Ridge Road and near exit 107 off Interstate 75.
"The people there are great to work with and it's easy to get to from Estero and Fort Myers," Enfield said.
FGCU tips its season off at Virginia Commonwealth on Nov. 9.