Basketball player Jeremy Crane aimed at the basket as the timer ticked down and the sea of people in pink T-shirts cheered his team.
Crane and the rest of the men’s team was participating in a three-point competition against the women’s basketball team during Midnight Madness on Saturday night at the Sid W. Richardson Center.
Sponsored by Student Life and the Student Government Association, the event marked the beginning of the 2016-2017 basketball season.
Crane, a forward from North Richland Hills, transferred to Wesleyan for this season and experienced his first Midnight Madness.
“It was fun,” said Crane, a junior mass communications major. “I came from a junior college last year and we didn’t have anything like this. I liked putting on a little show for the crowd.”
Crane participated in a three-point competition against the women as well as a scrimmage against the other half of the men’s team.
“Everybody seemed excited,” Crane said about Midnight Madness. “I know my teammates loved it. It was nice seeing that so much people support the basketball team. It was just great to see support.”
The cheerleaders, dance team, and Ram Squad all performed during the event in support of the basketball teams.
“We went out to do a routine to let people know who we were, what we were about, and how to join us,” said Ram Squad President Cameron Bennett, a sophomore computer science major. “We want a lot of people to come out with Ram Squad to help support the basketball team throughout the season. The more people we have the more support they’ll have, the more love they’ll feel, the more likely they’ll do better based off the energy that we give them.”
Student Life and SGA collaborated to keep up the crowd’s spirit. Student Life provided food and music. SGA helped sponsored giveaways throughout the event as well as providing free pink Midnight Madness T-shirts.
“We are providing the shirts for the students as well as other giveaways throughout the event,” SGA President Zahraa Saheb said. “So things like foam fingers, basketball stress balls, headbands – the sort of things that lift up, bring spirit to the game, and get the students hyped up – are things that will be given throughout the event.”
Other organizations, such as the dance team and the cheerleaders, spent months preparing for the event.
We’ve been preparing for about a month,” senior criminal justice major and dance team member Darrian Smothers said. “We just got our uniforms in today and everything like that. So we’ve been working pretty hard on it.”
After all the preparation, Smothers was ready to show her dance moves.
“We finally get to perform something that we’ve been working really hard on and get to show our classmates and stuff what we’ve been doing,” Smothers said.
The dance team performance may have been Smothers’ favorite part of the night, but for cheerleader and freshmen business management major Iyanna Brown, the event’s spirit was most important.
“I think (my favorite part) has to be throwing the shirts and getting the crowd involved and just seeing the school spirit,” Brown said. “I think we always get more of it even though we have a lot of it so I’m glad to be a part of that.”
Brown, like Bennett, said the event was very spirited and got many Wesleyan students involved.
“I feel as though a lot of things went well,” Bennett said. “We got to get the basketball players out and supported them and showed them the love that they need going into this basketball season. I feel as though we’re going to have a great season ahead of us based off of the events that occurred here tonight.”