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Oct. 20, 2008

PITTSBURGH--The University of Pittsburgh will host its fifth annual Basketball Fan Fest and Intrasquad Scrimmages on Sunday, Oct. 26, at the Petersen Events Center. The event will highlight the Pitt men's and women's basketball teams and feature autograph sessions, team scrimmages and various fan-oriented events. Admission is free to this family-oriented event. Free parking is available in the OC Lot. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

Fan Fest offers basketball fans their first glimpse of the 2008-09 Pitt men's and women's basketball teams. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. with an autograph session featuring head coaches Agnus Berenato and Jamie Dixon along with the women's and men's basketball players in the Petersen Events Center lobby and concourse areas.

Following the combined autograph session, the Pitt women's team will play an intrasquad scrimmage beginning at 1:25 p.m. The Panthers men's team will then take the floor for a scrimmage.

Fan Fest will also feature performances by the Pitt Pep Band, Pitt Cheerleaders and Pitt Dance Team, along with various family oriented activities including face painting and inflatable games.

Greg Linnelli of Fox Sports 970 will broadcast live from the Petersen Events Center lobby from noon-1 p.m. His show will preview the upcoming season, offer insight and feature interviews with live guests. The broadcast will also be available for free on

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 will enter the 2008-09 season ranked as a consensus top 10 team. Pitt returns three starters, its top three scorers and seven of its top 10 players from a squad that captured the Big East Championship, finished 27-10 overall and advanced to NCAA Tournament play for a seventh consecutive season. Seniors Sam Young, Levance Fields and Tyrell Biggs all return to the squad along with sophomores DeJuan Blair, Gilbert Brown, Brad Wanamaker and Gary McGhee.

The Pitt women's team is coming off its first-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance and has already received preseason rankings from numerous publications. Senior guard Shavonte Zellous enters the season as a strong candidate for All-America honors as she was named to the Lindy's preseason All-America second team and the Sporting News preseason All-America third team. The women are looking to reach their third consecutive NCAA Tournament and reach 20 wins for the fourth straight year.

12:30 p.m.-- Doors open, team autographs begin in lobby and upper concourse
1:25 p.m.-- Women's Blue/Gold Game
1:50 p.m.-- Men's Blue/Gold Game
3:15 p.m.-- Fan Fest concludes

Note: Admission is free. Free parking is available in the OC Lot.

Pitt to host Basketball Fan Fest and Intrasquad Scrimmages on Sunday, October 26