By Grace Whitman ’22
This year’s Late Night Madness was not the traditional event Providence College students know and love. Most called it “Late Afternoon Madness” because it started at 4:30 p.m. Nevertheless, hundreds of students packed into Alumni Gymnasium on Friday, Oct. 15 for the 2021 Late Night Madness Celebration.
The celebration kicked off the 2021-2022 seasons for the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Division I Basketball Teams and began with a black and white scrimmage for the men’s basketball team. Seating in the gymnasium was split into upper and lower classmen, who received black and white shirts, respectively.
The black team defeated the white team, 65-63, after two short overtime periods. AJ Reeves ’22 led his team to victory with 31 points, shooting 7-11 from three and 11-16 overall from the field.
Like the student spectators, both the cheerleading and dance teams were split into two groups, half wearing black uniforms and the other half wearing white. After being away from the court for over a year, both teams were ready to support the basketball teams. Dance team captain Grace Ferguson ’22 said, “I am so grateful that after such a long time away we got to kickoff this basketball season the way we’re meant to. Being able to step on the court again is a feeling I’ll never forget.”
After a quick break after the black and white Scrimmage, students returned to Alumni Gymnasium for the actual Late Night Madness. The Cheerleading and Dance Teams returned to the court for a joint performance of a mashup of songs that included “Fight Night” by Migos and “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X for the Dance Team and “Fergalicious” by Fergie and “Level Up” by Ciara for the Cheerleading Team.
Next, Providence-based rapper Jon Hope took the mic and sang one of his new songs off his upcoming album. Many students recognize Hope from his role as the emcee for the men’s basketball team at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for the past 13 years. Typically, he hypes up the crowd and commentates on games like the Friar Shoe Shuffle.
Hope then introduced the players on the women’s and men’s basketball teams. Through a tunnel of cheerleaders and dance team members, each player danced their way through the tunnel to the walk-up songs they individually chose.
Next, there was a 3-point contest where AJ Reeves ’22 and Julia Fabozi ’24 emerged victorious against three other teams.
To end the celebration, Aileen Deegan ’23 and Dory Aine ’24 were selected for the half-court shot contest. Although they both took good shots, neither student succeeded in winning the $5,000 prize. This challenge has become a bucket list item for many students after Maggie Mckenna ’20 made the Sports Center Top 10 when she made a half-court shot in 2019 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
The men’s basketball team starts its regular season at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center against Fairfield University on Nov. 9 at 7:00 pm. The women’s team’s regular season starts on the same day in Alumni Hall against Yale University at 4:00 p.m. Now that students are allowed to attend games, they can look forward to full student sections and lots of Friar spirit.