Junior Aasiya Mufti showed up at the UIC Pavilion Sunday ready for a win, but not for a $15,000 check.

“I was really hyped,” said the pre-nursing student about #PackThePav Family Day 2018, where she cheered alongside more than 3,000 guests. The event celebrated the men’s basketball team’s final game of the regular season; honored two graduating players, Tai Odiase and Clint Robinson; and offered family friendly activities and specials like meet-and-greets with mascot Sparky Jr., face painting and UIC giveaways.

“It was fun, amazing and intense,” Mufti said.

In the end, the Flames fell to the Wright State Raiders, but Mufti still celebrated a victory of her own: she won paid tuition for the 2018-19 academic year, thanks to a #PackThePav raffle sponsored by UIC Student Affairs. The award amounts to $15,000.

“I was so shocked,” said Mufti, who added that she’s grateful for the #PackThePav experience and opportunity. “I’m in a position where I don’t have to worry as much about finances next year as I had before, but I’ll keep working hard and focus on school.”

Support from fans like Mufti fueled the Flames for a close finish.

“It was a tremendous college basketball game in every sense,” head men’s basketball coach Steve McClain said. “I thank everyone for coming out to support our team. We felt the energy in the building all day long.”

More events and opportunities like #PackThePav may be possible for UIC fans, family and friends in the future.

“It was a smashing success,” said Marcus Betts, visiting senior director of community and corporate relations. “The hope is that we’re able to do creative things like that and continue to collaborate to make those types of opportunities available.”

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