Blue Madness sweeps Eastern

Bob Galuski, Editor-in-Chief | @BobGaluski

Moving past the animatronic blow-up panther, Eastern mascot Billy the Panther riding a bicycle and Spider-Man playing pin-the-limb-on-the-skeleton, anyone in Lantz Arena would find a myriad of mythical beings gathered, having a good time.

As part of Eastern’s Blue Madness, the Eastern and Charleston community came out to Lantz Arena Thursday to help kick off the Eastern basketball season.

On the upper-level of Lantz, children and adults, all dressed up in costumes for trick-or-treating participated in every Halloween-type game imaginable.

Lions played Halloween Twister. Princesses guessed how many pieces of candy corn were in a jar. Superheroes, complete with muscle suits, rode bicycles through a haystack maze to the other end.

Filling their buckets and bags with candy a day early, Charleston community children took part in an early Halloween tradition: trick-or-treating.

Ryan Kubiak, a graduate student in the kinesiology and sports studies department, helped work the candy corn guessing booth.

As it was his first time working Blue Madness, he said he was surprised by the turnout.

“I didn’t think we would have this many people,” he said, pointing to the crowds of costumed children milling through the upper-level of Lantz.

Kubiak was there for class credit, but thought there would be more of an Eastern representation. However, he was still pleased with the amount of people there.

Trick-or-treating and Halloween games weren’t the only attraction to Eastern’s Blue Madness.

Allowing the families to wander down to the lower seats of Lantz, the Eastern basketball teams helped put on shows for the crowds.

As the players—both the men’s team and women’s team—were called out to a cheering audience, the players walked out tossing candy and shirts.

Costumed children crowded the court, clamoring for candy as the spotlight roved around the players.

The teams then took to the main part of the show — a slam-dunk show.

Reggie Smith, a senior guard, helped bring excitement to the crowd when he took to the air with a 360-degree slam dunk. Keenan Anderson, a senior forward, and LeTrell “Snoop” Viser, a junior guard, followed Smith as they took turns grabbing the rim.

Chris Olivier, a junior forward, capped off the show with an alley-oop into a slam-dunk, all to the roaring crowd.

Students were also part of Blue Madness as they were handpicked from the crowd in between sets for a costume contest.

Based on applause, the audience chose which costume, out of two women dressed as doughnuts, a woman in a taco suit and a woman dressed as Catwoman.

Laura Hanrahan, a junior music major, closed the costume contest as the crowd cheered for her in a Catwoman suit.

Hanrahan said she always wanted to be Catwoman, and decided to base her costume off of actress Anne Hathaway’s portrayal in the 2012 film, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

She said she didn’t want to be other iterations, such as 1992’s Michelle Pfeiffer or 2004’s Halle Berry, since they were too “risqué.”

“I have to keep it classy,” she said, laughing.

She was picked out of the crowd after moving forward when people began picking. It came from a desire to be spontaneous that caused her to want to be picked.

“It’s my first year here,” she said. “I thought it would be good to be fun and spontaneous.”

Bob Galuski can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].