Fans flock to Burt Kahn Court for Midnight Madness

Zach Smart

Quinnipiac University hosted its 10th annual Midnight Madness at the Burt Khan basketball court on Oct. 14.

While the stormy conditions that dominated the past week continued outside, tons of students sporting Bobcat gold t-shirts flocked to the gymnasium.

The event is popular at colleges throughout the nation as it marks the first day that a Division I basketball team can hold official practices. At QU, it has became tradition ever since the school was elevated to the Division I ranks during the 1998-1999 season.

The electrifying celebration is all for the common purpose of showing support for the institution’s fall sports programs, in addition to kicking off a new year in athletics.

The QU men’s hockey team jump-started an action-packed night with a 6-2 victory over visiting RIT in its home debut in the first game of the Quinnipiac Cup.

Senior Christian Shaboo, of Kingston, N.H., pumped energy into a near-capacity crowd as the fans were treated to a great evening.

It was a memorable Midnight Madness not only for the seniors, but for everyone in attendance as it could be the last Midnight Madness that will take place at the Burt Khan venue.

Next year, the varsity basketball and varsity ice hockey programs are scheduled to move to the Hudson United Bank Center, a 157,000 square-foot arena. The HUB will sit atop the nearby 200-acre Sherman Avenue campus and include picturesque views of New Haven and Long Island Sound.

The event began with Shaboo revving up the crowd’s intensity.

The Bobcat dance teams and cheerleaders quickly raised the intensity, moving to a number of beats while throwing out free gifts and prizes to the crowd. The pep band gave the fans an early taste of what they’ll be playing at this winter’s games while Q30, the independent student television station at QU, broadcasted the event live.

Bobcat sports teams filed out to center stage with their teammates to eruptions from crowd. No team, however, would receive louder ovations than Tricia Sacca-Fabbri and the women’s basketball team, along with Joe DeSantis and the men’s basketball team.

“It was definitely a midnight madness to remember,” said sophomore Sean Mitchell. “We got out of control. It was great to see the place jumping, everybody coming together, and having an all out good time to support our athletics programs.”

The fans nearly blew the roof off the gym after seeing Chris Wehye throw down an array of finesse, rim-rattling dunks. Wehye, a junior newcomer to the men’s hoop team, captured a slam dunk contest that would draw a great deal of excitement from the crowd.