By Kahleel Bragg
On Wednesday, Oct. 29, the LIU Post men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off their seasons by hosting “Midnight Madness” in the gymnasium at the Pratt Recreation Center. Midnight Madness serves as a fan appreciation night where the basketball teams get a chance to showcase some of their skills to the Pioneer students. These students were also given the opportunity to win prizes by participating in a few contests.
This year’s night of madness opened for fans at 9.30 p.m., and the show started around 10.00 p.m. As the fans packed out the stands, players from both the men’s and women’s team threw t-shirts to the audience. The music was loud and the fans were energetic and eager to start the night up. After the distribution of t-shirts, both teams broke off in the hallways to prepare for their introductions, which gave the SGA (Student Government Association) time to perform. Players from both sides were introduced one by one at the middle of the court, starting from freshman up to seniors.
Throughout the night, there were three contests that featured participants from the student body. Fans were selected to compete in a free throw-shooting contest, a money scavenger hunt, and a half-court shot contest. In the scavenger hunt a thousand dollars of cash was on the line for participants, and the winner of the half-court shot received at 50-inch television with a new Xbox 1 game system.
“I believe Midnight Madness was a success because it was very interactive and energetic with the lights and music,” said Adonte Donastrory, a Business Management sophomore. “The most enjoyable time of the night for me was watching my fellow students compete for prizes,” Donastroy added.
The players also competed against each other in a friendly three-point competition, which featured players from the men’s team vs. players from the women’s team. It ended up being a close one, but players from the men’s team slightly edged the women’s team by two buckets (14-12).
The most exciting event of the night happened to be the dunk contest held by Sean Maduegbunam, Nick Kahn, and Greg Dotson from the men’s team. The contest featured high-flying energy dunks that had the crowd erupting and cheering on their feet.
“Midnight Madness had a good atmosphere with a great turnout, it’s a good way to kick off the season knowing we have this much support from the student body,” said junior guard Sean Maduegbunam. When asking Maduegbunam what Post fans could expect from this year’s team, he responded, “You can expect a tough group of guys buying into the program and giving it our all in order to execute coach Smiles’ plan.”
The event ended around 12.45 a.m. with students showing Post pride and extreme confidence in their basketball teams. Following the “Madness” in the Pratt was an after party held at the Tilles Center from 1 a.m. until about 2.15 a.m. A decent amount of students showed up, the vibe was good and the music was even better. However, the party couldn’t last too long because it still was a school night and students had to get to bed.
Midnight Madness was a huge success containing nearly a thousand post students in the gym. The energy was electric throughout the whole night and really illustrated post pride for the basketball teams. The women’s basketball team will have their first game of the 2014-2015 season against Adelphi and Pace at the ECC/NE-10 Challenge in Garden City, N.Y., on Nov. 14 and 15. The men’s team will open their season up against Division I Manhattan College this Saturday (Nov. 8) in Riverdale. Be sure to keep up with these two teams as they try to give it their all to keep Post fans proud.