Basketball Tips Off Season at Ram Town
Oct. 16, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - Photo Gallery
For the third 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 doors opened at 8:45 p.m. to a line of students stretching outside the entrance to the McGinley Center. Once in the Rose Hill Gym, fans were given Ram Town t-shirts and directed to tables full of appetizing treats, including pizza, pasta, cannoli and cupcakes, from Arthur Avenue vendors; drinks, courtesy of Coca Cola; and cookies, popcorn and pretzels from Sodexo Hospitality Services.
The night started with Fordham Flava welcoming the crowd into the gym with an energetic routine that brought the crowd out of their seats before they even had a chance to settle down.
The women's squad then took the court to a rousing ovation, throwing t-shirts to the crowd before running through a drill. It was time for the students to get involved under the direction of emcee Kyle Kesses, a Fordham alum and former WFUV announcer. The first challenge was a karaoke contest where three contestants were selected to perform for 30 seconds and the crowd voted for the best presentation. The three students all gave a great performance but in the end, it was Tochi Mgbenwelu who walked away with a 37-inch flat screen TV for her performance of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".
Kesses then selected two pairs of students to compete in the oversized uniform relay where contestants had to get dressed in an oversized jersey, shorts and sneakers, dribble the length of the court and make a layup. The first to do so were Douglas Soto and Christopher Knight, who received free books for a semester, courtesy of women's basketball head coach Stephanie Gaitley and men's head coach Tom Pecora.
Then it was time for the 2012-13 Fordham University men's team to take the floor, running on through a smoke screen and throwing t-shirts into the crowd.
After the men went through a dunking drill, four students were selected for the Dizzy Bat race where the student ran from the baseline to half court, spun around a wiffle ball bat five times, ran to the other baseline, picked up a basketball and dribbled back to the other basket for a layup. The winner of the contest was Tsevdos Panagiotis, who was able to fight off dizziness and make his layup first and walked away with a 37-inch flat screen television.
Things then got even crazier in the Rose Hill Gym as three students were selected for a Dance Off with all three burning up the hardwood of the Rose Hill Gym court but in the end, the crowd decided that Adam Fagnani had the best moves and he won an iPad for his performance. As an added bonus, two pairs of player were chosen to compete against Fagnani with the men sending freshmen Travion Leonard and Ryan Rhoomes to the court and the women countering with Arielle Collins and Briana Jordan.
Four players were then paired up with four fans to compete in a three-point shooting contest that was pared down to two after the first round. In the finals, it was team Marah Strickland versus team Erin Rooney with Rooney and her partner taking the competition.
New director of athletics David Roach took the court to thank the students for their enthusiasm and to encourage them to continue to display that emotion the entire season, He then introduced Gaitley and Pecora who each spoke to the crowd for a few minutes. Pecora made things even louder in the gym when he announced that he had a pair of tickets for game two of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium on Sunday and that they would go to the loudest Yankee fan in attendance.
The men's team will open its season on Friday, November 9, when they travel to San Marco, Texas, to face the Texas State University Bobcats at 8:00 p.m. (EST). The women open the season that same night as they travel to Albany to face the University at Albany at 8:30 p.m. The first women's home game with be on Sunday, November 18, as they host Delaware State at 2:00 p.m. while the men will open their home schedule on Thursday, November 29, by hosting Manhattan College in the annual Battle of the Bronx.