Inaugural Hawk Madness a success

Hawk Madness happened for the first time ever at Laurier on Thursday. (Photo by Rosalie Eid)

Hawk Madness happened for the first time ever at Laurier on Thursday. (Photo by Rosalie Eid)

Walking into the Athletic Complex Thursday night, one can only feel the amount of energy in the room. The first-ever Hawk Madness took place, hosted by the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

There was a buzz of anticipation from the audience waiting for the show to start.

The event was done in collaboration with the Residence Athletic Council (RAC).

The show kicked off with a shooting contest, where both the men and women basketball teams paired with a residence representative to shoot from various lines of the court, with the final shot being from half court, and whoever finished all the shots the fastest would compete in the finals.

The second event was a slam-dunk contest, showcasing the basketball teams’ skills, with one of the most humourous and memorable dunks done by women’s basketball forward Doreen Bonsu. Bonsu, after several attempts to dunk it in the hoop, took out a box of Dunkaroos and “dunked” a cookie in the icing.

For the slam-dunk contest, men’s football head coach Michael Faulds, CTV anchor Darren Stevenson, women’s basketball player Whitney Ellenor, the Hawk mascot and a representative from the fan base were chosen to judge.

The final event of the night consisted of an intra-squad game, in which both the men and women were separated into two teams to play a game, with guest coaches such as Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union president Annie Constantinescu, men’s football players Asante Mizan and Ese Mrabure-Ajufo and director of athletics and recreation at Laurier, Peter Baxter.

Sebastian Clarke, the student life events coordinator at Laurier and the creator of Hawk Madness spoke of the event.

“Hawk Madness is something that happened in the [United] States, they do it every year. University of Kentucky has a big ordeal about it,” he explained. “So I thought, ‘why not Laurier?’ Laurier has a lot of school spirit, it was something I thought the school was really behind.”

He also explained that the night was “used to promote [the basketball team’s] skills.”

“I know the girls are great shooters, I really wanted to give them promotion as well,” Clarke continued. “Everyone knows the guys are really athletic, but really taking it and appreciate the girls.”

When asked how important a showcase such as Hawk Madness was for the basketball program, Clarke believes that  “it was really important just to spread the word, to the first years predominantly. Let the [first years] know where the basketball team take place, and how good we are.”

He also hopes that due to the amazing turnout this year that Laurier will continue to support Hawk Madness in the future.

“I also wanted to leave a legacy, Hawk Madness, hope it stays free for the next two years, and every time I come back I want to be able to come here and say, ‘this is what I started.’”

Basketball kicks off their regular season with both teams facing off against the Algoma Thunderbirds on Friday. Tip off is 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men.

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