by C. Garrett Keidel & Emily Hollar, Sports Editor & Staff Writer
At 9 pm on Tuesday, October 29, an enthusiastic and supportive crowd drew upon Draddy Gymnasium for the annual event that is Manhattan Madness. Large amounts of Kelly Green apparelled students came upon the entrances of Draddy gymnasium in anticipation for the event of the semester.
This annual event is the pep rally of the year, and the formal introduction of the men’s and women’s basketball teams. And for many of the students, “Madness” means setting aside a day each year to celebrate being a Jasper and being part of the Manhattan community.
Students arrived in droves, receiving tee shirts specifically for the event, which is a tradition known to build unity and support. Student Issabel Frazza took part in handing out the tee shirts and embraced the opportunity to do so.
“I was handing out shirts before this Manhattan Madness event, and I was on cloud nine. I was embracing my inner Oprah Winfrey yelling ‘you get a shirt! You get a shirt! You get a shirt!’ You get a shirt.’ and it felt really good and it was really amazing, and I am so proud to be a Jasper.”
The defining moment of the event was when each player on the men’s and women’s teams had their name and hometown announced to the spirited crowd. Other cool highlights included performances from the Manhattan College Dance team, who are fresh off winning a national championship this past spring, and the school’s cheer team. Both groups were well received with each doing their part to keep the students engaged and excited. In addition, the school’s pep band played throughout the event to complement all the other activities that went on.
It was evident that this year’s teams have formed close bonds based on the way they interacted during the introductions. Moreover, the way the players engaged with the crowd throughout the event epitomized the love both sides have for each other. For example, when the song “Shout!” came on, the players were able to get everyone quiet when the song said to and also influenced them to get louder when the song was at its climax. It was clear that the volume of the fans reached impressive decibels.
And what would a Manhattan Madness be without an energized speech from men’s basketball head coach Steve Masiello. To cap off the event, Masiello said, “okay guys, let’s go get some pizza. See you all there.” And with that, hundreds of students flocked to Pizza Supreme to continue the celebration.
Attendee Velezca Berber commented on her experience at Manhattan Maness.
“It was so good,” said Berber. “I can’t wait to get the season started and show our jasper spirit!”
Attendee Jack Haldopoulos also commented on his experience of an event that left him in awe.
Haldopoulos said, “I loved it! Best performance of my life. Now let’s go get pizza.”
The official start of the season is right around the corner with the men’s team opening up their schedule at home against Delaware State on Tuesday, November 12th at 7 PM, while the women’s team gets set to play at Stony Brook on Friday, November 8th.