Written by Elliott Coombes // Photo by Edgar Cardiel
Students and families got into the basketball and Halloween spirit during Midnight Madness on Tuesday of “I Heart HU” week. Midnight Madness is an annual event Harding crafted to kick off the basketball season, as it is the last night of the school year before teams can get on the court and begin practicing.
Run by Campus Life and hosted by Assistant Dean of Campus Life Logan Light, Midnight Madness took place Oct. 31 in the Rhodes-Reaves Field House. The event showcased this year’s basketball teams and the supporting groups, the band and cheerleader squad, and included several games and giveaways.
“One of the things we love about the Rhodes-Reaves Field House is that we can get loud,” Light said.
Senior Hank Noblin, a student worker for Campus Life, said Midnight Madness helps students recognize the basketball players they see around campus.
“I think it helps you see basketball players,” Noblin said. “There are times you might have a class with them or pass them in the hallway and you would have no clue. But now you recognize that they’re on the team and you get excited for the team, and it increases your chances to go see a game and increase activity and make them more excited about it.”
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams got to show off their team dunks, layups and rim-grabbing leaps. Accompanying them was Harding’s Thundering Herd Marching Band. One band member, freshman Cooper Manning, said the band is dedicated to Harding’s teams.
“I love playing pretty much everywhere we go,” Manning said. “Out [on] the football field [or] here, we love it when it gets loud. It gives us more energy.”
Because this year’s Midnight Madness took place on Halloween, many audience members were dressed in costumes and the activities had a relevant theme, featuring a costume contest, a broomstick relay race and musical pillows, a version of musical chairs set to spooky music. University President Mike Williams and Vice President Jean-Noel Thompson dressed as the characters Captain America and Black Panther and led the audience in the cupid shuffle.
The event also included a blindfolded cash grab and several ticket raffles throughout the night.
One of the highlights of the night was the social club knockout, where representatives from men’s and women’s social clubs shot hoops against each other for the chance to win $250 for their next function. The winning shots were made by men’s social club Theta and women’s social club Delta Gamma Rho.
The men’s basketball team will play their first game of the season Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in Fort Smith, Arkansas, against Lincoln University.
The women’s basketball team will also play their first game Nov. 10, beginning at 1 p.m. in Emporia, Kansas, against Missouri Southern State University.