Midnight Madness a slam-dunk

By: Victoria Joshua

October 31, 2012

The sound of enthusiastic team spirit and crowd eagerness in the air is out of the ordinary for Dominican students in the middle of the week. But with midterms quickly approaching, what break from the never-ending heaps of homework is better than Midnight Madness?

The event kicked off on Wednesday Oct. 17 at 10p.m., as crowds of students comfortably dressed in Dominican sweat pants and t-shirts filled the bleachers. Not a section of the Igini Sports Forum hardwood floor was left untouched by the ongoing foot traffic of both athletes and students as they competed in three-point shootouts and free throw competitions around the perimeters of the gym. Others in attendance found that relaxing and watching their peers was just as exciting.

Rosalie Matta, a freshman at Dominican, was new to the experience. “The atmosphere is very alive and people are festive in supporting their school,” she said. “I’m here to get closer to my school.”

With the event well underway, the Dominican dance team had the floor and loosened the crowd up with their exuberant performance, filled with hair throwing and hip twisting moves. But perhaps the most anticipated event of the night was the dunk competition. The competition featured junior Taylor Deroo in what would be his third win. Deroo’s daring teammates and opponents in the competition were Anoribe Nwannewuihe, Anthony Keener and Logan Harris. Although Harris and Keener were eliminated from the competition after receiving the lowest scores, Anoribe challenged Taylor but came up short when he attempted to dunk two basketballs at once.

In the end, the undefeated yet humble Deroo stated that “It’s always a friendly competition amongst my teammates. It sparks some competition but in the end we move on to the more important season ahead of us.”

But the significance behind this year’s Midnight Madness goes beyond its athletic festivities. With the event promoting more than the upcoming men and women’s basketball season, it was also a time of giving back to others who are less fortunate. The Dominican men’s basketball team hoped to collect 250 pairs of shoes for the charity Share Your Soles – at Midnight Madness they successfully collected well over 300 pairs of shoes.

“It’s a great way to give back to people and get fans active,” Nwannewuihe stated.

The men’s basketball season may have had its fair share of struggles in recent seasons, but sophomore center James Stawarz reassures DU fans of one important fact: “We’re going to go out there and play every game as hard as we can with toughness and aggression.”

Stawarz’s teammate, Taylor Deroo concluded, “The experienced players are playing with a different hunger, and this new work ethic can achieve more than last season. With fan support we can go a long way.”