Square Jam, a basketball talent showcase, returns on the Square Friday, Oct. 22.
Square Jam is back and better than ever after a yearlong hiatus due to COVID-19. The seventh annual event, presented by Oxford Orthopedics and the City of Oxford, will showcase the Ole Miss men’s and women’s basketball teams on the Square at 6:30 p.m.
Square Jam will consist of a three-point contest, men’s dunk contest, player introductions and an autograph signing after the event. This will be located on the east side of the Square in the parking lot in front of City Hall.
“We can’t wait to have our fans back in the Pavilion, to be able to play in front of the Ole Miss faithful again this season is something we are looking forward to,” Ole Miss Assistant Basketball Coach Ronnie Hamilton said. “We have a group of guys that have really worked hard this summer and pre-season.
Hamilton, originally from Oxford, North Carolina, has been in the coaching profession for 19 years. This is his fourth year as an assistant coach at the University of Mississippi after working with Coach Kermit Davis at Middle Tennessee State for four years.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to be amongst our great fans and let them see our current team, especially after not having the event last year,” Hamilton said. “Square Jam has always been one of the highlights of the fall before we kick off the season. It is in a lot of ways the unofficial start to the season. The setup with the outdoor court right in the middle of downtown is one of a kind.”
Mimi Reid, a redshirt senior from the Bronx, New York, and a point guard on the Ole Miss women’s basketball team, is looking forward to her third Square Jam.
“This event means a lot to me and my teammates because we are on the road of establishing a fan base and it gives the community an opportunity to see us in a more relaxed atmosphere and engage with us,” Reid said.
The executive director of Visit Oxford, Kinney Ferris, encourages fans and the community to watch the city set up for Square Jam, as well as other festivities happening this weekend.
On Friday, Double Decker Bus tours will run from 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. and live music around the Square and Square Jam will kick off at 6:30 p.m.
“There’s so much going on all day Friday,” Ferris said. “It’s also fun to come to the Square during the day to see how the set up goes to build the basketball court. So I always encourage people to come to the park, get some lunch, shop and check out the set up. Then you could stay and go on the bus tours, grab dinner and move over to City Hall to get your spot to watch Square Jam.”
A large attendance is expected as the event is free and many visitors are in Oxford this weekend for the Ole Miss vs. LSU football game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Sophomore forward Madison Scott from Indian Head, Maryland, will participate in her very first Square Jam.
“I am most excited about meeting great fans,” Scott said. “The love and support I’ve received from the Oxford community since the day I arrived has been amazing. These great people encourage me to do and be my best, and for that I am forever grateful.”
As a sponsor, Oxford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is a big fan of Square Jam and the Ole Miss community.
“As official team orthopedic surgeons for all Ole Miss Athletics we are part of a family of athletes, coaches, trainers and staff,” Dr. Kurre Luber said.
Members of the Rebel Kids Club ages six years or younger have the opportunity to sign up for a chance to show off their dunking skills in the Kids Dunk Contest.
The Ole Miss men’s basketball team will begin its 2021-2022 season with an exhibition against Trevecca on Friday, Nov. 5 before opening up the regular season against New Orleans on Nov. 9.
The women will tip off Thursday, Nov. 11 against Belmont. All three contests will take place inside the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss.