The Ramapo men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off their season with Midnight Madness, a night of games, free food, fun and of course basketball.
The festivities started in the Bradley Center Sunday night with a tailgate at 9:30 p.m., featuring a campus favorite, Moe’s. Students piled into the lobby outside the gym, where they could play games and eat while waiting for the entertainment to start.At 10:45 p.m., they let everyone in, giving a Ramapo Rowdie T-shirt to every attendee.
The first performance was a routine by the Ramapo dance team, who were then followed by three members of the Harlem Wizards basketball team, including Blackjack Ryan and LaMarvon Jackson. The Wizards, similar to the famous Harlem Globetrotters, are known for their amazing ball-handling and dunking skills.
Freshman Kelsey Lawrence said they were “the highlight of the whole thing.” They showed off many of their unique skills, but Lawrence said that “the dunks they did was the best part; they were really great.”
Not only did the crowd experience many entertaining tricks, but they also witnessed history when Ryan attempted to break a Guinness World Record. He balanced 10 different basketballs while they were spinning on his two hands and a small pyramid shaped machine with eight spokes sticking straight up.
After the Wizards finished, the dance team performed once more before presenting both basketball teams at the stroke of midnight. The introduction of the teams was a performance to remember, with glow sticks alight in the bleachers while the entire gym darkened to almost pitch black. The men and women ran through a tunnel of teammates as each of their names broadcasted over the speaker system, each player receiving loud cheers from the crowd. Afterwards, both teams played an inter-squad scrimmage for 10 minutes each until the night ended.
The fact that the event took place late on a Sunday night had some effect on the audience, with a few students too busy to attend. One freshman, Tori Cullen, couldn’t find the time.
“Sundays are when I’m actually really busy,” she said. “It’s when I get all of my work ready for the week.”
Another freshman, Elyse Connolly, didn’t go because of how late the program ran.
“Staying up until 1 a.m. is hard,” Connolly said. “I’m tired, and have early classes the next day.”
A lot of people had trouble with the length of the event; Lawrence said that “ending at midnight would have been better,” and that it “ran too long.”
Even one of the players on the team thought starting a little earlier would have been better. Sophomore Kelly Haspel, a guard on the women’s basketball team, said, “I was really tired. I think it was too late to be playing a game.”
Despite the late night, a good number of students came to support their fellow student-athletes. A wall of bleachers filled with students of all ages, including entire sports teams such as men’s soccer squad.
“I wasn’t expecting so many people,” Haspel said.