Midnight Madness: A Charger tradition lives on

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Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Krista Smith.

The Incendio Dance Project performs, Nov. 8, West Haven.

Christopher Elwell, Sports Editor

On Wednesday night, the New Haven men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted their annual Midnight Madness event, which celebrates the kickoff of the new basketball season. Students and faculty came out to support the teams while the clubs put on a show for the audience in the Charger Gymnasium. The 2022-23 season looks to be an excellent season for both teams, as the women’s team kicked off its season on Nov. 12, and the men’s team will start on Saturday.

The festivities were kicked off with each team and their staff introducing themselves. Following loud applause and cheers for both teams, Midnight Madness was in full swing.

Different clubs from all over campus put their mark on the event as well, starting off with a routine from the cheerleading and dance teams. Both routines got a big round of applause from the student section, who came out in full force not to just show support for the basketball teams, but to also support their friends and fellow students who demonstrate the true meaning of Charger Pride.

After the dance team finished their routine, it was once again time for basketball. The men’s team held a blue-and-white scrimmage, putting on a great show of athleticism, creativity and good-hearted fun between teammates. The team looks to be ready for the season, looking to build on their strong 2021-2022 season in which they finished with an 18-9 record, before being knocked out in the regional semifinals.

Following the scrimmage, the Incendio Dance Team took to the court and put on a show with their salsa dance routine. With only four people front and center, it did not make a difference for them, winning over the crowd with their moves and high spirits.

The student section was shown appreciation in this event as well with a raffle, giving away a mystery bag of items and an Amazon Echo Dot. The first 200 students in attendance also received a complementary shirt after the event, and each player on the basketball teams were given a shirt that they would all throw in the crowd to give back to students.

The Elite Step Team was next, starting off with one member on the court, followed by three other members to put on their routine, which was one of the favorites among the students. The leader of the crew was talking back and forth with a fan in the crowd, much to the amusement of the rest of the students, which then brought on their performance, greeted with a big round of applause at the end for putting together a great show.

It was time for basketball after this once again with a three-point shootout with four teams, each having a representative from both the men’s and the women’s teams. Each player would take turns shooting five three-pointers, shooting two racks each to decide a winner. After all four teams shot they moved on to a half-court shot competition, which brought on a tie between two teams, decided by a sudden death shootout.

The Miss Majorettes followed them up with a great showing as well, putting an end to a great night filled with laughter, excitement and school pride. As we enter a new basketball season, this event went a long way to show how much the school cares for all of our sports teams and supports them in all that they do. Midnight Madness 2022 was a success all around, and it should be another great season for New Haven basketball.