BY Joe MacCormack
On Oct. 26, the William H. Pitt center was filled with about two thousand fans as they cheered on the Men’s and Woman’s basketball teams. The crowds were not there for back-to-back games though. Rather, they were all there for the annual SHU Hoops Madness.
“Hoops Madness is a yearly event that showcases players from both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. We have a chance to interact with students, fans, and family members who will be our support system throughout the season,” said graduate student and SHUWBB Captain Katherine Haines.
SHU Hoops Madness has been going on for a while. It happens once a year and comparable Midnight Madness. Midnight Madness is a preseason event that usually happens at the big basketball schools such as Duke. The event starts earlier in the night with performers and all sorts of entertainment, and then at midnight the teams are introduced, and they show off their skills.
The annual SHU Hoops Madness event is intended to get the students and fans excited and ready for the upcoming season.
“The men’s and women’s teams has been participating in this event for quite some time. This is my fifth year doing SHU Hoops Madness,” said Haines. “It is just a preview as to what is to come; it showcases the talent our teams possess and gets everyone excited for the season.”
There are other teams that were involved as well throughout the event. Both the dance team and the cheerleading squad performed, and the band was also there playing music throughout. The Student Events Team set up a fan raffle, with an exclusive trip to Disneyland as the grand prize. The winner was announced during the night, as you had to be in attendance to claim.
“I really hope I win that trip. Disney is one of the best places in the world. Who wouldn’t want to go?” said sophomore Tyler Duff.
At the start of the night, both teams entered as they were introduced over the loud speaker. The teams warmed up and made shots, and this was followed by performances featuring the dance and cheerleading squads, and of course the band. To wrap up the night, the teams participated in some shooting contests with the men closing the night by showing off their dunking abilities.
“I am a huge basketball fan and I love to go and watch it. It is my favorite sport and going to the SHU Hoops Madness is great. The atmosphere is unreal,” said sophomore Zack Marino.
The night was filled with many events and was highlighted by the shooting and dunking contests.
“I think this season is going to be awesome,” said Haines. “Everyone has returned, beside Tykera Carter, and one newcomer was welcomed, Nikki Johnson. We worked really hard over the summer and this pre-season and are well ahead of the game. We are eager, hungry and determined. As a team I think that we are stronger, faster and smarter than we have been in previous years. We are ready and are counting down the days to our first game.”