The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Inaugural Maroon Madness tips off basketball seasons

Men’s and women’s basketball celebrated the impending start of their seasons on Monday night. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Ally Photo)

The men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off their seasons on Monday with the first-ever “Maroon Madness,” a showcase for both teams. The event featured a three-point contest, dunk contest and student shooting contest.

A large crowd of both students and other members of the College Hill community were introduced to the rosters of both teams and also received free tickets to the men’s opening home game against Wilkes University.

One of the stars of the event was senior guard Makayla Andrews who took on the responsibility of engaging the crowd throughout the event. According to Andrews, the Lafayette community’s support gives the teams a massive boost going into the start of the season.

“We love seeing people who aren’t just students come out and support us,” Andrews said. “It’s a great feeling to know that people in the community want to come see us.”

The inspiration for the event stemmed from the success of both teams last season and the desire to carry that success into building what has the potential to become a Lafayette tradition.

“It was our first time doing it, so there was the excitement of starting something that’s completely new,” Andrews said. “I think that it went really well, and everyone was really excited about it.”

This sentiment was echoed by senior guard Jon Brantley, who thought the event went better than the team expected.

“Quite honestly, I was expecting fewer students. To have the turnout we did, I was super excited,” Brantley said. “I feel like Maroon Madness is a great way to connect the team and fanbase.”

It is this connection that both teams hope can provide them with the means to create a strong home-court advantage as they begin their seasons.

“Home court advantage is really important in conference play,” Brantley said. “It can really make a huge difference. That’s why it’s very important to us that the fans feel connected to the team. We really wanted to give the fans something to look forward to so they continue to support us and we can strengthen that connection.”

Andrews also believes that having an off-court connection to the Lafayette community helps the team perform at its highest level.

“Having energy in the crowd fuels us,” Andrews said. “That’s why it’s important to get people excited about the season now, rather than when we’re already in it. We want to be on people’s radar.”

The success of the event has both Brantley and Andrews hopeful that it could become an annual event to kickstart the teams each season.

“I do feel like it could become a tradition,” Brantley said. “I feel like Maroon Madness is a great way to recognize the players and get to know the new faces on the team.”

Despite the fact that Andrews is a senior, she also is hopeful that Maroon Madness will repeat annually.

“I’m looking forward to looking on social media and hearing all about how the next Maroon Madness goes from my teammates,” Andrews said.

The women’s team opens its home-court campaign on Nov. 15 against Marist, while the men host Wilkes University on Nov. 19. With this newfound excitement behind them, both teams are raring and ready to kick off their seasons.

“I’m ready to get to it,” Brantley said. “I can tell my teammates feel the same way just by the level of competition in practice.”

“We’re a young team, but we’re very ambitious,” Andrews said. “We’re hungry, we’re motivated and we’re very determined. As long as we hone in on that, we’ll be good.”

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About the Contributor
Martin Familetti
Martin Familetti, Staff Sports Writer
Come On You Spurs.

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