We don’t have Midnight Madness. At Temple, we have Cherry and White Night. And it’s way cooler.
When all the other basketball teams across the NCAA ushered in the first day practice is allowed with a huge celebration, we waited patiently until the next Friday. Tonight was our night. Each year, Temple introduces its men’s and women’s basketball teams with our own party: a huge spectacular we call Cherry and White Night. It’s easily one of my favorite nights of the year because the display of Owl spirit is unmatched and it means my favorite collegiate sport is right around the corner.
Tonight, we lined up inside newly-renovated Pearson-McGonigle Hall, ready to kick off the evening. We grabbed our food and our seats and listened to the Diamond Band while waiting for the teams to arrive. The introductions this year, though, were a little bit different than usual. As the cheerleaders and Diamond Gems ran onto the court when the DJ played the Wobble, the basketball teams quickly followed, to the screams of the crowd. Rahlir, who I’ve known for three years and, by far, my best friend on the team, ran over to Coach Dunphy and started Wobblin’ up on him. It was definitely a highlight of the evening.
Afterwards, the MC gave the formal introductions, the teams scrimmaged, and then the contests began: three-point knockout, burrito roll, uniform swap, the shooting competition, and, the crowd’s favorite, the dance competition. Every year, the highlight of Cherry and White Night is the dance competition where a member of the band, a cheerleader, a men’s player, a women’s player, and two students are each paired with a Diamond Gem and given a dance.
After the night had ended and Rachel, Jeff, Tirzah, and I grabbed our Cherry and White Night shirts, I ran over to say hi to Rah, who I hadn’t seen since moving back from Colorado. I was greeted with a huge, Rah-sized hug, and we got to quickly chat about how practice was going and how his brother, Rondae, who trained at the OTC in the Springs while I lived there, was doing. It was the best Cherry and White Night I’ve ever been to, and I cannot wait for the season to get underway in a few short weeks!