Nine O'Clock Madness
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The crowds murmured in the stands, the players shot around on the court, and Brad Elliott fiddled with the cords, setting the state stage for another installment of a Westmont classic: Midnight Madness. Every year students look forward to this night as a fun relief from midterms, and this year was no different.
Originally designed to excite students for the upcoming basketball season, in recent years Midnight Madness has also served as a publicity platform for all Westmont’s Winter and Spring sports. The basketball coaches, Kirsten Moore and John Moore (no relation), both shared about the recent successes of each program, though even the Men’s coach admitted the men’s program is “chasing the women[’s success].” Both shared excitements for the year, with both programs expecting big things from their young squads. The captains of each other sport also introduced themselves and their sport, with each sharing the big game for the season.
One of the staples of Midnight Madness is the limited edition yearly Midnight Madness T-Shirts. Every year students line up like it’sBlack Friday to ensure they nab their own shirt (and one in their size). The design changes every year, and this year’s design, black and muddy with a silver 17 on the back, garnered high praise. One student, Nolan Brudi, particularly liked the design, telling the Horizon, “This is no charity 5k free t-shirt. These shirts mean business.”
The evening entertainments also featured some shining performances from NSTEP, Ah-Men, and Westmont’s cheer squad. NSTEP dazzled the audience with their incredible dance moves and raw charisma, dancing to the hottest hip-hop beats. Later in the night Ah-Men serenaded the audience with their soft and sweet voices. They dressed in their sauciest 90s garb, with one anonymous senior noting, “Matt Miller looks like the coolest guy at a Y2K party.” A full recording of their performance can be found at bit.ly/fzjfhc.
Though students loved the performances, the night is about basketball. After the hosts introduced the teams they partook in the timeless tradition of a three-point contest. Two students join their respective sex’s team to see who can pull off the best Steph Curry impression from downtown. The boys edged out the girls thanks to the superstar talent of former high school second-team all-league talent Jordan Baldridge.
The night ended with the a crowd favorite competition: the dunk contest. Several players duked it out but the judges crowned Noah Blanton the final victor, winning pride, recognition, and the opportunity to shave his initials into Liam Whitfield’s head.
The night ended with a request from Olisa Nwachie asking students to “come to the games.” Coach Nwachie told the crowd that the past year has shown us the power of unbridled passion, and it really makes the difference at games. When Murchison is rocking, it betters the experience for the players, the coaches, and, most importantly, the fans. Catch the first game at Westmont this Saturday (October 28) versus Cal Lutheran.