The 2010-2011 men’s and women’s basketball seasons got off to a roaring start on Oct. 16, as more than 1,000 fans packed the Rose Hill Gym for Ram Town.
The crowd watched the teams go through various drills, and some lucky students walked away with valuable prizes.
The night started a little later than expected due to the line of students, which stretched down to the post office in the basement of the McGinley Center. As they entered the gym, fans were directed to tables full of pizza, sandwiches, popcorn, cake, cannoli and drinks, as well as special offers from local merchants.
Once most of the crowd had arrived, the women’s team took the court and went through a drill. Then three pairs of students were chosen to compete in the Dizzy Bat race.
The first contestant in each of the pairs had to spin around with his or her forehead on the end of a bat and then sprint to the other end of the court. Then the second contestant had to do the same and sprint back to the start line. The winners received $100 Best Buy gift certificates.
After another basketball drill, two students were chosen to compete in the Big Sneaker race.
They started at one baseline, ran to the free throw line to put on jerseys, and then continued to the half court line, where they donned basketball shorts. They put on oversized pairs of basketball sneakers when they reached the other free throw line and picked up a ball at the far baseline. Finally, they had to dribble back down the court and shoot. The first contestant to make a basket won a 32-inch flat-screen television.
An iPod Nano was raffled before the women’s team went through a third drill. Then two fans were selected for a progressive-shot contest. The first competitor to hit a layup, free throw and three-point shot won free books for the spring semester.
After the women were done, the men’s team took the court and began a layup drill that quickly morphed into a slam-dunk exhibition that led to the night’s only casualty—a broken basketball rim.
All of the student contests were repeated before the two teams joined each other on the court for the final contest of the night. Fans were selected by raffle to shoot one free throw for a trip to Las Vegas. The only catch was that both teams were lined up in the lane as a distraction, and the crowd was instructed to be as loud as possible.
After a few misses, Nicole DeMeo’s shot was nothing but net; the teams shared in her celebration.
The men’s team will open its season at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12, when they host Brown University. The women’s team opens the season at 4 p.m. that same night in Elon, N.C., as they compete in the Phoenix Classic. The women open their home season versus Bucknell University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17.