Fans will file into Gallagher-Iba Arena to experience “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” and basketball Friday night.

Homecoming and Hoops will take place in Gallagher-Iba Arena at 9 p.m. Friday after Homecoming Walkaround.

“I love the energy of homecoming,” said Ashton Copeland, a sophomore elementary education major. “It makes me happy to see everyone come together showing their school pride.”

Rickie Fowler, OSU alumnus and professional golfer, is expected to attend Homecoming and Hoops and will serve as the grand marshal in the Sea of Orange Parade on Saturday morning.

Spirit awards winners will be announced for homecoming competitions such as the chili cook-off and the residential life decoration contest.

One award the Greek community anticipates every year is the Library Lawn sign competition.

Caili Jester, a senior therapeutic recreation student, said she can’t wait to see how her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, places in the award ceremony.

“We worked hard this homecoming, and I am hoping we win something this year,” Jester said.

Grant Eads, a senior economics major, said he wants his last Homecoming and Hoops as an OSU student to be his favorite.

“Homecoming and Hoops is one of my favorite homecoming traditions because there’s something for everybody, from sports fans to Greek life (members),” Eads said.

Homecoming and Hoops has something in store for sports fans, as they will witness OSU’s men’s basketball teams scrimmage each other. The women’s team will also scrimmage. 

“It will be nice to see how the basketball team will play with a new coach, even though the scrimmage probably won’t be competitive,” said Baxter Bradford, a junior chemical engineering student.

Each year, Homecoming and Hoops offers a special event or feature for fans to enjoy. In 2013, OSU showed off Gallagher-Iba Arena’s 3-D court projection. In 2016, guests watched Cowboy wrestling coach John Smith face Kenny Gajewski, OSU’s softball coach, in a wrestling match.

This year, the men’s basketball team will debut its new jerseys. The Cowboys offered a preview of the uniforms with close-up pictures on Instagram, but it won’t reveal the full look of the jerseys until Homecoming and Hoops.

OSU’s cheerleaders and pom squad will play a part in Homecoming and Hoops, and the homecoming royalty candidates are also involved. OSU homecoming courts are often introduced in creative ways, such as a Disney skit in 2016.

Many freshmen will experience Homecoming and Hoops for the first time Friday. Cassandra Irvine, a freshman marketing major, said she can’t wait to see what’s in store.

“I heard a lot of great things about it from upperclassmen,” Irvine said, “From what I gathered, it’s a giant pep rally for the school.”

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