Sept. 15, 2010
PITTSBURGH--The University of Pittsburgh will host its second annual Basketball Fan Fest and Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair on Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Petersen Events Center from 1-3 p.m. Admission is free to this family-oriented event. Free parking is available in the OC Lot at noon. Doors open at 1 p.m.
The event will highlight the Pitt men's and women's basketball teams and feature various fan-oriented events including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Pitt basketball facilities and family activities throughout the Petersen Events Center. Pitt Men's Coach Jamie Dixon and Women's Coach Agnus Berenato, along with student-athletes from both teams will conduct an interactive "Chalk Talk" and student-athletes will be available to interact with fans in various basketball-oriented activities on the Petersen Events Center arena floor (sneakers required).
Held in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, Coach Dixon's sister, the Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair will be conducted in the Petersen Events Center. Individuals will have the opportunity to acquire free blood pressure screenings and help set the Guiness World Record for most blood pressure screenings in an eight-hour period. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to receive free health screenings, learn about CPR and AED training, access educational heart health displays and participate in basketball activities on the main Petersen Events Center court.
For the second time, a Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair will be held in Pittsburgh. Held annually at New York's Madison Square Garden, the Maggie Dixon Women's Basketball Classic and accompanying Heart Health Fair has become the nation's premier women's college basketball event. Last year, over 10,000 fans attended the women's basketball doubleheader featuring Rutgers, Tennessee, Baylor and Boston College. This year, the fifth annual event will be held on December 19 with Texas A&M and Rutgers squaring off in the first contest and Ohio State and Connecticut in the second.
Maggie Dixon was the vibrant, passionate and successful head coach of the Army Black Knights women's basketball team. In 2006, she guided her team to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Just weeks later, Maggie died suddenly due to an arrhythmia. She was only 28 years old.
In affiliation with the Maggie Dixon Foundation and UPMC Cardiovascular Institute, the event's objective is to increase awareness of the risk of sudden cardiac death and the need for early diagnoses and preventive treatment. The Maggie Dixon Foundation is a national non-profit organization with the mission to prevent sudden cardiac death due to acquired and inherited heart disorders in children, adolescents and adults.
"The two primary goals of the Maggie Dixon Foundation are enhancing heart health awareness and promoting the growth of women's basketball," Jamie Dixon said. "We hope to have the same success that we enjoyed last year in Pittsburgh. We also wish to thank all of the sponsors who have helped make this event possible."
Fan Fest will also feature a live radio broadcast on 93.7 FM The Fan and appearances by the Pitt Cheerleaders and Pitt Dance Team. Official Pitt merchandise will be on sale in the Panthers Team Store. Women's Basketball season tickets will also be on sale throughout the event and fans can sign up for the Pitt men's basketball ticket waiting list.
The Pitt men's team is coming off a 2009-10 season that saw it accumulate a 25-9 record, finish in second place in the Big East (13-5), advance to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth consecutive season and earn a No. 3 seed upon entering the NCAA Tourney. The Pitt women's team is coming off its fifth consecutive postseason appearance in 2009-10.
SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
*Chalk talk sessions with Pitt Basketball coaches and players. Fans will have the opportunity to interact, ask questions and listen to coaches and players discuss various topics. This will be held in the Petersen Events Center lobby.
*Activities on the main Petersen Events Center basketball floor with the 2010-11 men's and women's basketball teams.
*Behind the scenes tour of the Pitt basketball facilities. Fans will have the opportunity to see the Pitt basketball facilities including the lockerrooms, training room, team meeting rooms and post-game media interview room.
*Family fun activities: bungee run, balloon artist, Panther Bounce inflatables, face painting, inflatable hoop shoot.
*Free blood pressure screenings as fans can help set the Guinness World Record for most blood pressure screenings in an eight-hour period.
*Free CPR demonstrations, AED demonstrations, and nutrition and healthy living tips.
*93.7 FM The Fan will broadcast live from the Petersen Events Center floor.
*Panthers Team Store and Hall of Champions is open.
*Food Court will be open.
*Purchase women's basketball season tickets and signup for the men's basketball season ticket waiting list.