Basketball Tips Off Season at Ram Town
Oct. 15, 2011
For the second straight year the Fordham University men's and women's basketball teams got the season off to a thunderous start as over 1,500 fans packed the Rose Hill Gym for Ram Town, welcoming the team to the new year and competing for valuable prizes.
The night started a little later than expected due to the length of the line waiting to get into the gym, one that stretched down to the post office in the basement of the McGinley Center and another that stretched from the front door of the McGinley Center to the street. While they waited, fans were treated to face painting and a photo booth in the lobby of the McGinley Center.
Once in the Rose Hill Gym, fans were given Ram Town t-shirts and directed to tables full of delectable treats, including pizza, pasta, cannoli and cake, courtesy of Arthur Avenue vendors, as well as pop corn and a cotton candy from Sodexo Hospitality Services.
The women's squad then took the court and ran through a drill before it was time for the students to get involved under the direction of emcee emceed Ryan Ruocco, a Fordham alum and co-host of the "Ruocco and Lunberg" show on ESPN 1050 radio. The first challenge was a dance contest for a 32' flat screen television where three students were selected for a dance off with two advancing to the finals as determined by a vote of the crowd. After a winner was selected by the crowd he or she then competed against members of the team for an extra gift Best Buy certificate.
Four players where then chosen to play for selected students in a shooting contest with a layup counting for one point, a free throw two points and a three-pointer three points with Jess Crowley winning a free Nook.
Two students were then selected to compete in a chicken toss contest with the Fordham player tossing rubber chickens to the students and the student who caught the most won free books for the spring semester, courtesy of women's head coach Stephanie Gaitley. Marah Strickland was an expert tossing the rubber fowl with Robert O'Reilly catching them and earning the free books.
Four players were then chosen to compete in a three-point shooting contest that was pared down to two after the first round. In the finals, students sitting on the side of the winner received special t-shirts that were thrown into the stands by the cheerleaders and dance team.
The next contest was a Progressive Shot challenge. The competitors had to hit a layup, free throw and three-point shot, the first one doing so won an iPad. That person was Darren Chew.
After the women were done, the men took the court and started with a layup drill that quickly morphed into a dunking exhibit.
The men repeated all four student contests with Ryan Hage and Lamount Samuell being bested by Brigitte Lemaire in the dance off (so she won the television and the $100 Best Buy gift certificate) and Chris Gaston winning the shooting contest.
After the three-point shooting contest, Michelle Boivin captured the progressive shot contest and took home a new iPad.
The final contest of the evening was for a trip to Cancun. Students were chosen via raffle ticket, pulled by Fordham's own Mike Breen, with the chosen student having one shot to hit a free throw. Students were selected until Jesse Downes came down to the court and sank his shot, earning a gratis round trip to Cancun.
The men's team will open its season on Saturday afternoon, November 12th, when they travel to Syracuse, N.Y., to face the Syracuse University Orange at 4:00 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. The women open the season on Friday night, November 11th as they host the University at Albany in the Rose Hill Gym at 8:00 p.m.
Here is a list of the winners on the night:
Dance Off (32' flat screen television)
Hot Shot (Nook)
Chicken Catch (Books for a Semester)
Three-Point Shootout (iPad)
Free Throw (Trip to Cancun)