Students gather in the Van Dyne Gym to get pumped up, prepared for basketball season

The buzz from Homecoming at California Baptist University barely had time to fade before the preview of the basketball season kicked off with the
annual Midnight Madness event Nov. 9.

Students began lining up for tickets to the event Nov. 8 as a limited amount were available. Everyone gathered in front of the Van Dyne Gym for Monday night “madness” at 8:30 p.m. to kick off the celebrations with a performance from JGivens, a Los Angeles-based Christian rapper. The party continued until 10:30 p.m. inside the gym, with routines from the freshmen men’s basketball players and the cheerleaders and contests to keep the energy at an all-time high.

“It’s grown over the last four years with JGivens coming to perform and the awesome
basketball teams with how great they’re doing so far,” said Bobby Frisch, Community Life graduate assistant. “It’s going to take the intensity level up so much more.”

The foundational planning for the event was laid out over the summer, but when Community Life gathered together for training, the details were hammered out.

Chris Hofschroer, assistant dean of students, Kristin Waters, director of campus activities, and Jay Stovall, director of cultural and commuter programs fronted the planning.

“It’s fun to do something collectively and see it actually come to fruition and see students enjoy it and the teams represented well,” Waters said.

Brett Vowell, director of Chapel and Compassion Ministries and “the Voice of CBU,” introduced the basketball teams to kick off the madness.

Students adorned themselves with glow-in-the-dark necklaces, bracelets and headbands and waved flashing glow sticks in the air inside the darkened gym. Fog machines set the mood as the men’s and women’s basketball teams, plus the cheerleaders, cheered for the students as they entered the room to remixes by disc jockeys Icy Ice and Bobby Duran.

“It’s a great experience to have, to know that the school is all behind us to support us,” said Kamille Diaz, junior sociology major and guard for the women’s basketball team.

Diaz joined other members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams in the 3-point contest and won the women’s portion of the contest with 17 3-pointers. Gelaun Wheelwright, guard for the men’s basketball team, won the men’s portion with 18 3-pointers. Diaz and Wheelwright then went head to head, with Wheelwright winning out 18-13.

The evening continued with a routine from the cheerleaders and a performance from the freshmen men’s basketball players to “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. A free-throw
contest with audience participation and a 30-second dunk contest, which determined who was getting dunked, rounded up the
madness.

“We’re just out here to have a good time,” said Alexander Birketoft, sophomore psychology major and forward for the men’s basketball team.

About Bekka Wiedenmeyer

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