Fordham University’s historic gymnasium in The Bronx has gone from Rose Hill to Rose Thrill.
The Rams men’s basketball team is firing on all cylinders during the 2022-2023 campaign as part of the Atlantic 10 Conference, bringing sold-out crowds to watch the squad.
The team is led by first year head coach Keith Urgo, who credits impassioned student interest in sparking his players on the court.
“We have the opportunity to really do something special here with the fan base, and it’s a result of getting the right guys in the program that fit not just the basketball program but the entire community,” said Urgo.
The campus community is flying high watching the team, which means you had better arrive early at the gym to get to your spot.
Senior Nikhil Mehta leads a group of students who watch the game shirtless, and, in general, gives a hard time to the opposing team from their place in the student section.
“My freshman year you would come to the games, you could walk in right at game time, sit anywhere you want, now you have to be here right at 6, 6:15 it’s packed, it’s amazing,” said Mehta.
Freshman Tyler Cole of Brooklyn says she heard the team had potential, but has been blown away by their success and chemistry.
“It’s honestly very fun and exciting and I feel like the team shows warmth, they are like a family to us,” said Cole.
That was displayed Wednesday night when the Rams notched their 19th win against conference rival, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Both the coach and players ran over to the student section to salute them, and eventually some of the players jumped into the crowd to rejoice over the victory.
That win gave them more victories than they have had since the 1990-1991 season, but there are still more games left on the schedule, not to mention the Atlantic-10 tournament at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in March.
Players like Khalid Moore, who played high school basketball at Archbishop Molloy in Queens, have embraced all of this.
“When you think of college basketball, this is what you dream of, you know, just playing in front of the fans, having that electric energy in the gym it really gets us going,” said Moore.
The plan for the Rams is to stay hot and keep winning as they head towards March Madness. A win in the A-10 tournament would get them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Rams haven’t gone “dancing” in three decades.
“We just keep this thing going, win the rest of the season, we just said in the locker room, no more Ls the rest of the season, that’s our goal,” said graduate student guard Darius Quisenberry.