Drake Hoops Fest takes over Court Avenue for inaugural event

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DES MOINES, IOWA — Court Avenue lived up to its name in a new way Thusday night as the downtown entertainment district was transformed into an outdoor basketball court for ‘Des Moines’ hometown team’ – the Drake Men’s and Women’s basketball teams.

The free event was held at the intersection of Court Avenue and 3rd Street. The Drake Men’s and Women’s basketball teams held a ‘Basketball Showcase’ to introduce the 2021-2022 Bulldog teams.

The men’s team is coming off one of its best seasons in history. The Bulldogs finished the season 26-5 and earned their first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Drake beat Wichita State in the ‘First Four’ play-in game – their first NCAA tournament victory in 50 years – before losing to USC in the Round of 64. Head Coach Darian Devries, an Aplington-native, is back for his fourth season at Drake. He has won 20+ games in each of his first three seasons.

The Drake women with a new head coach, though she is no stranger to the program. Alison Pohlman takes over the program after spending the last 14 years as an assistant. Former head coach Jennie Barancyk left after last season to take the head coaching job at the University of Oklahoma. Pohlman is a Wellsburg, Iowa native. She played collegiately at Northern Iowa and began her coaching career there before coming to Des Moines in 2007.

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