Basketball season is almost here and the inaugural Black and Gold game is slated for Oct. 24 at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. This is the third year VCU has put on this free-of-charge event for all Ram basketball fans.
“Because of all the sellouts, a lot of people in the community don’t get a chance to see our guys on a regular basis and this is an opportunity for them to get up close and personal with them,” said Scott Day, assistant athletic director for athletic communications.
The intrasquad scrimmage is slated for a 4 p.m. start, with multiple chances for player-fan interaction throughout the day. An alumni game will take place after the current squad, including recent stars Joey Rodriguez ’11, Ed Nixon ’11 and Rob Brandenburg ’15. Older Ram fans will recognize other notable alumni participants in Calvin Duncan, Kendrick Warren, Lionel Bacon and Bo Jones.
“We hope for 3,000-4,000 fans, but if the weather is bad there could be a setback,” Day said. “First time we had it three years from now, we were taken back because we had around 3,000 and last year we had around 4,000.”
As VCU continues to grow into a basketball powerhouse, the transition to having a ‘Midnight Madness’ could be in the foreseeable future — an event held at other schools where the team’s first official practice is open to the public, often with a pep rally.
“A lot of schools do the midnight madness, and we have never done that,” Day said. “We are trying to do some things different every year to spike interest.”
Welcoming the new team has grown each year with the addition of an autograph session and the alumni game. Normally scheduled for Sunday evenings, the event will take place on Saturday in aspirations of having more students attend.
“We want this to be a big student event which is why we moved it to a Saturday,” Day said. “Having it on Sunday people have already transitioned for the school night and end of the week.”
A special guest, known by all Rams fans, has hinted at an appearance — Larry Sanders, the former Ram superstar Instagrammed Thursday of his interest to come back to VCU and participate in the all-star game. Day noted Sanders has showed interest in coming, but has not given a definite answer on whether he will attend or not.
VCU opens the season at home against Prairie View on Friday Nov. 13.
Sports Editor, Bryant Drayton
Bryant is a sports advocate thats always smiling. He is a senior print and online journalism major aspiring for a career as a professional or college football columnist. Bryant currently covers high school football games for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. // Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn