It wasn’t quite midnight madness but Tuesday night’s “Marist Mania” in the McCann Center offered fans a slight glimpse of the Marist men’s and women’s basketball teams in the week leading up to the regular season.
The festivities included free food, performances by the dance and cheerleading teams, a game of knockout for students, a three-point contest that included both teams, and a dunk contest to close the night.
Some of the highlights included Noah Harris besting Kendall Krick in extra time for the three-point shootout crown and Isaiah Brickner beating a few of his teammates (and two football players) in the dunk contest.
This was the first edition of Marist Mania, which was put on by the Red Fox Pack in association with Marist Athletics.
“The idea was for this to be a pep rally to celebrate Marist Athletics and the start of basketball season,” club president Caleb Davis said. “We were so happy to plan this event and work with a bunch of different groups and bring everyone together.”
The Red Fox Pack is in its first year as a chartered club and serves as “the official student section of Marist Athletics.”
The event drew a good deal of students, hungry for the free food and a first look at both Red Foxes teams.
“This was something we had in the works for over a year,” said Davis. “It’s good to be able to get a good turnout in the books. I’m very happy and it’s something I hope we can build on.”
Student involvement at Marist sporting events has been inconsistent at best with events like the men’s soccer MAAC Championship against Rider and a nationally televised men’s basketball game versus Manhattan serving as two of the biggest student draws of the last year.
One of the Red Fox Pack’s goals is to generate more buzz and fill more seats on a consistent basis.
“We have a lot more events like this planned,” said Davis. “We want to get really engaged with our members and the community and work with a bunch of different organizations on campus. We’re really excited for basketball season and we want to generate as much school spirit as possible.”
Next week will feature four home basketball games and a home game for football. The Marist women begin on Nov. 7 against Villanova and face another Philadelphia-based school in the University of Pennsylvania on Nov. 10.
The men begin their season at home against American on Nov. 9 and face Binghamton on Nov. 12. Football also hosts Valparaiso that day. All basketball games are scheduled for 7 p.m. while football plays at noon.
Edited by Christian De Block
Photo from Jonathan Kinane