On October 12, 2017, the UC Merced Recreation & Athletics hosted the annual Midnight Madness event to kick-off the basketball season and introduce our talented UC Merced’s men and women teams. The doors of the Hosteler Courts opened at 9pm, creating a line of anticipating fans leading all the way down to the interception of Muir Pass Road and Scholars Lane. As the students settled onto the bleachers, they sat in an almost-festive environment filled with atmospheric excitement,music, and chanting.
The night began with the introduction of each player followed by a round of cheers and screams from the crowd as the players emerged through an aisle of cheerleaders. The night continued with an intense first period of a scrimmage game between members of the women’s team, ending with the score of Blues: 16 v Whites: 12. The first performance of the night was presented by the school’s dance team. Free giveaways carried on throughout the night, and just when we thought it couldn’t get better than free t-shirts and towels, they brought out the pizza! I think we could all sympathize with Ebony Goytia Hermosillo who shared, “I haven’t been to a basketball since I was 9, so coming to this event was an amazing experience. I was disappointed I didn’t get a shirt or a slice of pizza…lol.”
During intermission, the marching band fired up with “Fireworks” leading to a friendly competition between the the teammates themselves. The UC Merced Cheerleading squad left us in awe after their performance, demonstrating their talent. The men’s first period scrimmage followed to women’s, and proved to be just as intense with a final result of Blues: 20 versus Whites: 30. The dance team of INTRO recited their choreography to Hip Hop rhythms through inspiring expertise and passionate techniques to end the night.Their hard work was appreciated by the crowd, who were left amazed by the performance. After witnessing his first Midnight Madness, Ebony admitted, “The dance groups were all wonderful and [each] showed true talent”.
Midnight madness not only introduced the men’s and women’s basketball team, but also gave any first years and new members of the campus a feel for UC Merced on-campus events. This event was a great way to destress from midterms and allowed everybody to have a good time as a united community. In regards to the event’s name, Khadija Idris mentioned, “It was pretty fun and great music. I think the only thing that should be different is it should last till midnight if it is going to be Midnight Madness”.
Photo Credit: Rae Anne Tamayo