By John Evanko
Edwin Dejesus begins to feel pretty confident once Halloween rolls around each year.
But it has nothing to do with the pumpkins and costumes of the holiday season. However, Dejesus prefers another orange sphere: a basketball.
That’s because, as the Intramural Halloweeen Basketball Tournament rolls around this Friday, Dejesus, who coaches the “Diaper Dandie’s” will be attempting to claim his third straight championship in the tournament.
“We are the team everyone wants to beat,” said Dejesus, who has been coaching the Diaper Dandies and Lady Dandies since 1999.
While many students around campus are looking forward to dressing up and going to Halloween parties, the Diaper Dandie’s and others will be shooting hoops this Friday with play continuing through the weekend.
Games will be played under the 2008-09 National Federation of High School Rules with a few exceptions. The main exception is that there will be a 20-minute running clock for each half, with the clock stopping in the final minute of each half.
Although the Halloween Basketball Tournament is only one of the five basketball events on this year’s Intramural schedule, it definitely stands out in its own way.
Unlike many of the others, no points are up for grabs in the intramural championship. Additionally, participants are not limited to playing with their fraternity, sorority or other organizations. Therefore, competitors see a lot of teams that they don’t usually see in league play, which makes for an interesting experience.
Still, many teams decide to play with their organization. This gives them a great opportunity to learn to work together before league play begins in the spring.
“The Halloween Tournament allows you to get a feel for your teammates,” said John Smith, assistant director of intramural sports. “You can see what you need to work on and learn everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.”
However, the tournament is anything but easy-going.
“In theory, the tournament seems like it would be played just for fun,” said Adam Jines, coordinator of intramural sports. “But everyone on this campus loves basketball and a lot of the games get pretty heated.”
The players are also ready for the tournament.
“This isn’t like league play. You only have one shot for one weekend,” said Constance Graham, a senior on the Lady Dandies. “Every game matters.”
The men plan on bringing the same intensity.
“This is definitely a more competitive environment,” said Terence Butler, a sophomore on the Diaper Dandies. “You get to play a lot more people you know.”
“Diaper” may be the first word of their team name, but don’t be fooled.
“We look young, but we play strong. It’s almost like we have a chip on our shoulder,” said Dejesus on the team’s name, adding that the team prefers to play an up-tempo game.
John Smith looks forward to the event.
“This tournament is a great way for anyone to get involved and compete with whoever you want,” he said.