The Howard men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off Homecoming week with a bang. The group held their annual showcase dubbed “Bison Madness” and the event was something to behold.
The event started at 4:30 p.m. with the pre-show hosted by Jae Murphy. If fans were lucky enough to get into the pre-show, they were almost sure to get into the game as only the first 2,000 fans were granted entrance into the arena.
The fans that could get in before doors closed were greeted by flashing lights and band music that produced an energy that spectators could feel as soon as they entered the gym.
“Energy was there, it was lively and powerful, and it was a moment to take in,” said Tracy Brown, a junior attending Howard university.
Ty Grace, the women’s basketball coach, was incredibly pleased with the turnout of Bison Madness.
“Bison madness has become one of the best on-campus events of the year! It’s a great opportunity for Coach Blakeney and I to introduce our teams and kick off homecoming week! We had a great turnout from all the students, administration, and the Bison faithful. The partnership with Jordan brand brought a high level of excitement and entertainment to Burr,” Grace told The Hilltop.
With the team having a handful of new players, it was many of the athletes’ first time experiencing the Howard fanbase and an HBCU crowd in general.
“Bison Madness was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before as a player. The whole event was surreal. There was never any sort of hype or anything like this for basketball at Cornell. I’ve never had a crowd like this for basketball and it wasn’t even for a game. It was definitely crazy to see the transition to how fans ride here vs at an ivy league where the general student population didn’t really care about sports,” said graduate transfer student, Kobe Dickson.
The teams were also able to use Bison Madness as a bonding experience. With the season right around the corner, having above-average team chemistry is very important to having a successful season.
“I love my guys, so being able to experience it with them was really something special. We are already a close group and I think Bison Madness only helped,” said Kobe Dickson.
The team played its first official exhibition game against Bowie State on Oct. 25th and won 114-77. Their first regular season game will be on Nov. 7th in Lexington at the University of Kentucky.
Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee