Bd Global Sports, who puts on the great MGM Resorts Main Event basketball tournament (see here and here), also put on the Runnin’ Rebels on the Strip events during the basketball season. This year included a game against Illinois that I was able to attend and photograph.
The game took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which is a fun arena. It doesn’t match the T-Mobile arena, but it is still a fun arena to watch a good college game. This game lived up to the hype and was a great experience. I highly recommend catching one of these games if you are in Vegas at the right time. Check out the available games here.
This game had everything you want in a a basketball experience. Great basketball. Great Fans. Great Entertainment.
UNLV won a tight game. Below are some of my favorite shots of the action.
Illinois’ Da’Monte Williams, Te’jon Lucas and Michael Finke help Mark Smith up.
An UNLV player attacks the full court press employed by Illinois’ Kipper Nichols.
Illinois’ Trent Frazier hits the lay up over UNLV’s Shakur Juiston.
UNLV’s Shakur Juiston splits the defenders to hit the shot.
UNLV’s Jovan Mooring gets in the air for an acrobatic pass.
Mooring gets to the hoop on an impressive drive.
UNLV’s always-exciting point guard Jordan Johnson splits four defenders to get the lay in.
UNLV’s Juiston opted for the floater on this possession.
Jordan Johnson with another impressive drive to the hoop through the Illinois defense.
Illinois’ Nichols watches helplessly as a loose ball flies out of bounds.
UNLV’s freshman star Brandon McCoy hits the easy lay up.
UNLV’s Kipper Nichols and UNLV’s Shakur Juiston stretch for the rebound.
McCoy elevates going for the blocked shot.
The referee emphatically calls a foul
UNLV’s Jovan Mooring gets past Illinois’ Trent Frazier for an acrobatic shot.
UNLV’s Jovan Mooring drives to the hoop and picks up a foul.
Illinois’ Mark Smith tries to corral the loose ball as he falls to the court.
Illinois’ Greg Eboigbodin elevates for the dunk.
Greg Eboigbodin hangs on the rim after throwing down a jam.
Illinois’ Te’jon Lucas found himself jammed up by UNLV’s Cheickna Dembele and Tervell Beck.
Greg Eboigbodin loses the ball on his drive to the hoop.
Kipper Nichols attempts to finish the shot after contact.
Te’Jon Lucas drives past Cheickna Dembele.
Lucas finishes his drive with the lay up.
Da’Monte Williams gets past Jordan Johnson.
Mark Smith gets up past Brandon McCoy.
Illinois’ Aaron Jordan hits the floater.
Jordan Johnson with the acrobatic pass.
Chaos on the floor as bodies go flying.
Amauri Hardy elevates for the shot over Da’Monte Williams.
Jordan Johnson elevates in the crowd.
Amauri Hardy hits the floater.
UNLV’s Shakur Juiston gets the dunk and follow through during the next several shots.
Having the home-team rebels in the arena was great as their cheerleaders kept things lively during the down times in the game.
I spent nearly every free throw shot I could capturing the synchronized back flips by done the front row of the cheerleading squad.
Capturing the moment of landing back flips was fun as everything looks normal except the hair.
the dance team
The UNLV dance team was a great compliment to the cheer squad.
The dance team had their own routine for UNLV free throws.
The Illinois fans surprisingly showed up in large numbers nearly matching the amount of UNLV fans.
Unfortunately, the UNLV fans found plenty to be upset about during this game.
The UNLV fans appeared to be having a little more fun.
These Illinois fans enjoyed some court-side seats right behind us photographers.
The UNLV students are always ready for their time in the spotlight.
The Fuji I was using for this game was far from ideal. Normally, I would much prefer shooting with at least a Nikon D850 or Canon 5D Mark IV, but I wasn’t going to skip a game just because I didn’t have access to the right gear.