Oct. 26, 2007
Moraga, CA - The 2007-08 basketball season kicked off in style, as SMC students flooded McKeon Pavilion late Wednesday night to get a taste of Gael Hoops. The Gael Force sponsored event, which was limited to students and season ticket holders, posted an all-time high attendance with over 1400 attendees.
The night kicked off with team introductions and highlight films, which brought a rain of "oohs" and "aahhs" from the crowd. After a performance by pulses, men's basketball player, Carlin Hughes, taught the crowd how to celebrate "Aussie style", as he led the crowd in an "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie...Oi, Oi, Oi chant. The chant, which was so loud it could be heard on the opposite side of campus, looks to be the battle cry of the Gael Force section this season.
The men's and women's team then split into pairs as they had a quick shooting competition which culminated in a standing ovation, as women's basketball player (and fellow Aussie), Louella Tomlinson knocked down a game-winning half-court shot.
Tomlinson's performance was followed up with a hip-hop routine by the dance team and then another by the women's squad, which brought a number of cheers from the students. After the women performed, the crowd began to get antsy, as a "Keak da Sneak" chant rolled across the 1400 in attendance. But as the crowd learned, good things come to those that wait, as they certainly would have regretted missing what was still to come.
Before allowing the headliner to come out and rock the mic, men's basketball players Tron Smith, Wayne Hunter, and Yusef Smith would first have the opportunity to come out and rock the rim. An array of impressive dunks followed, the most popular of which, was a 360 lob by Tron. After dropping from the rim, the boisterous crowd got louder as Tron cupped his hand to his ear and turned to the crowd, requesting that they kick it up a notch.
Those amplified cheers continued on as Michael Jackson's Thriller increased in volume on the PA system. The remaining members of the men's team appeared on the floor to reenact one of the most popular dance routines of all time. Simply stated, the crowd loved it.
As for the main performance, well it was as expected. Keak da Sneak took the floor and just as they did when the Gaels beat Gonazga last season, Gael Force stormed the court and the event had to be stopped to push the eager group back a bit to give Keak enough room to rhyme. Keak performed, and for 30 minutes McKeon Pavilion was transformed into a concert hall as students rapped along to all their favorite songs.
At the end of the day (night), if this MidKnight Madness can be used as an indication of the size and energy of the SMC student section for the upcoming season, it is safe to say the Gaels will not be losing many home games this year!