Lincoln - Game One presented by Ameritas on Friday at Pinnacle Bank Arena will feature more than just a top-25 showdown between the Nebraska and UCLA women's basketball teams.
The special day-long celebration of the regular-season openers for both the Nebraska men's and women's basketball teams at their new downtown arena will tip off with an energy-filled pep rally featuring an all-star cast of speakers and entertainers.
The Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally on Friday at 9:30 a.m. on the new homecourt of the Huskers will reach more than 4,000 middle-school youth from 45 schools in Lincoln and surrounding communities.
Students from Centennial to Crete, Norris to North Bend Central, Seward to Sandy Creek and Wahoo to Wilber-Clatonia will join students from several private schools in Lincoln for a day of motivational messages and exciting basketball action.
The sportsmanship pep rally, which is being organized with assistance from the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, will include messages from nationally recognized speakers from across Nebraska's 24 sports.
The speakers will range from Nebraska's men's basketball coach Tim Miles to Husker baseball coach Darin Erstad. The program also includes messages from two-time NCAA champion and Olympic gold-medal-winning wrestler Jordan Burroughs, along with NCAA discus champion Chad Wright. Amanda Burau from Nebraska's national champion women's bowling team, Mattie Fowler from the Huskers' Women's College World Series softball team and Shavon Shields will also deliver powerful messages to the students. Former Husker women's basketball player Meghin Williams is scheduled to conclude the program, which also includes performances by the Bathtub Dogs and Acrodunk.
Acrodunk, a nationally acclaimed high-flying dunk team, will be performing at halftime of both the Nebraska women's and men's games on Friday.
The program will begin soon after Nebraska's shoot-around and final preparations for Friday's special noon tip-off with the Bruins. The Huskers' tip time was moved to noon to accommodate the students' attendance at the pep rally and their return to their home schools. It was also adjusted with consideration for the Nebraska men's basketball team's season-opening tip with Florida Gulf Coast Friday at 8 p.m.
The Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally is not open to the general public and is intended for the students and sponsors in attendance. Doors to Pinnacle Bank Arena will not open to the public until 11 a.m. on Friday, to accommodate the relocation of students following the pep rally program.