GCU plans ‘blackout’ for basketball game Saturday
By Jeannette Cruz
GCU News Bureau
Grand Canyon University normally bleeds purple. But Saturday night, black will be in style.
As students start taking on the challenge of a new semester, the GCU men’s basketball team is gearing up for its biggest challenge of the season, a game against perennial Western Athletic Conference champion New Mexico State at 7 p.m.
With such a fiery game in store, amid a powerful crowd, the GCU Arena will be flooded by a “blackout” — all fans are encouraged to wear black. ThunderZone fans will be given black T-shirts, and each seat will have a black “rally towel” to cheer on the Lopes.
“There is so much anticipation and so much hype around this game because we really want to beat them,” said Brandon Kaiser, president of the Havocs, GCU’s student cheering section. “With all of this tension and rivalry between the two schools, we think having a crowd in all black will be intimidating.”
New Mexico State has won five of the last six WAC titles and has won all four times it has played GCU, by an average of 21.25 points.
GCU’s early season play, however, has shown signs that things are different this season. The Lopes have won 13 of their first 15 games and go into WAC play with the momentum of a six-game winning streak that includes stunning victories over San Diego State and Houston. They open WAC play Thursday against Texas Rio Grande Valley (3-11).
Black will be emphasized by the cheer and dance teams and the Thundering Heard Pep Band, too.
“We are wearing a full black uniform, hair bows and black pompoms and will be dancing to music correlating with the theme,” said Jacque Genung-Koch, head coach of the dance team.
Sophomore dance team member Chacey Frederickson said, “When GCU provides the opportunity for a themed or color-specific game such as the blackout, it allows students to experience uniformity in a new way. Nights like the blackout night give students a chance to share the same energy that reflects both inwardly and outwardly.”
The Thundering Heard will be decked out in black shirts, and even the tuba covers will be black.
“We’re excited about this week’s games and we’re hoping to get an early conference win to get students involved and interested in basketball again,” Kaiser said.
What it boils down to, he said, is this: “Wear black and yell as loud as you can!”
Contact Jeannette Cruz at (602) 639-6631 or firstname.lastname@example.org.