KSU brought a crowd onto the floor for the national anthem to solidify things

The Kent State basketball team brought a crowd onto the floor for the national anthem - a crowd of mixed races, sexes, and heights - Wednesday night before their home opener against Mississippi Valley State University as a statement of unity.

“We wanted to make a statement and let everyone know that we’re aware of all the things that are going on in our country and that we wanted to make a stand for unity,” sophomore Jalen Avery said. “That was basically our symbol that we wanted to show unity and treating everybody as one.”

Kent Wired's Nick Buzzelli reported that senior Deon Edwin approached head coach Rob Senderoff prior to the start of the season with the idea. “There’s a lot of people that are protesting the national anthem or protesting, whether it’s the election or its race relations here in the country. And you see that nationally,” he said. “I think our guys wanted to make a statement, and the statement that I think our players made was a tremendously positive one that — hopefully — is something everybody can recognize.”

The conclusion was...great stuff.

“It’s about togetherness at the end of the day,” team captain and senior Jimmy Hall said. “We’re one race.”

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