by Grace Whitman ’22 A&E Staff
Thousands of Providence College students decked out in black and white packed the buses and made their way to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center this past Saturday, October 5 for Late Night Madness, PC’s celebration of the beginning of the 2019-2020 seasons for the men’s and women’s Division I basketball teams.
Homecoming Weekend drew in thousands of students, alumni, and family members. The event has also turned into a major recruiting tool for the basketball program, attempting to pull out all the stops to sway players to choose Friartown.
The night started off with seven different student dance groups consisting of Varsity Cheerleading, Dance Team, Dance Club, Motherland & BMSA, Irish Step Dance, Dance Company, and Step Team. The group performances got the crowd on their feet for the first time that night.
Following their routine, Head Cheerleading Coach Melissa Scungio commented, “The team has been working really hard. The team is the biggest it has ever been, so it’s been a lot because we had to incorporate more people, but we have a lot of talent, and good overall people. Our seniors are really happy to end on a great note and we are so excited for this upcoming basketball season.”
Following these performances, the men’s and women’s basketball team members were introduced one by one, dancing onto the court to a song of their choice. After a few words from Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Crowley, Men’s Basketball Coach Ed Cooley came down the stairs of the student section, sending the crowd wild. As a kick off to this year’s basketball season, Coach Cooley fired up the crowd using his famous slogan, “Us. We. Together. Family. Friars! This is our town! This is our city! We are your team! Go Friars!” To close the basketball season inauguration, the Sister Sledge song “We Are Family” blasted throughout the Dunk.
Around 9:30 p.m., students sprinted down from their seats to the floor section for A Boogie wit da Hoodie’s performance. During his song “Drowning,” the men’s and women’s basketball teams were invited to be on stage right beside A Boogie. Women’s basketball forward Sophia Widmeyer ’22 said, “It was probably the most memorable night of a lot of our lives because it was just so crazy and exciting. You couldn’t see anything besides the bright lights and A Boogie. It was honestly so fun, especially to experience it with our team!” A Boogie’s performance had the student section fired up even when packed into close corners. From start to finish, there was constant energy in the room.
To end the night, headliner John Legend hit the stage and blew the crowd away with his heartwarming persona and astounding voice. Legend’s performance moved all the way from slow piano ballads including “All of Me,” to him standing on top of the piano for his neo-soul song “Green Light.” Throughout the night, Legend had everyone singing and dancing, even in the upper sections of the Dunk. Occasionally, he smoothly threw a “Go Friars” out, which resulted in immediate cheers from the audience.
This year’s change in venue to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center provided for an even bigger and better Late Night Madness Event. The entire community was able to come together and celebrate what it means to be a Friar.