Players, coaches, faculty and fans brought the slogan “Are you buff enough?” to life on Friday night in the newly renovated Smith Center for the annual Colonials Invasion, celebrating the beginning of the upcoming basketball season.
The event, lasting two hours in the Charles E. Smith Center, gave students and visiting parents the opportunity to get acquainted with the GW sports and spirit community.
The men’s team dancing to “Thriller” and “Single Ladies,” University President Steven Knapp playing the drums with Travis King, and more:
“Colonials Invasion has been featured during Colonials Weekend in the past, but this is the first time in recent years that the event has returned to Colonials Weekend,” Spirit Program Manager Ariz Matute said. “We’re excited to share this tradition again with GW’s parents and families.”
Colonial Brass opened the evening and served as house band throughout the event, alternating between the GW fight song and popular songs like “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Beat It.”
The group got some help on the drums from University President Steven Knapp and men’s basketball guard Travis King, who played together and alternated solos. King, who has been playing drums since he was 13, said he heard Knapp played as well and began to joke about the two playing together at the event.
“Somehow, word got around,” the redshirt junior said.
The men’s team also got everybody’s attention when they hit the floor dressed head-to-toe in crisp white pants and suit jackets. They performed a choreographed dance routine that began with some moves from Michael Jackson’s famous “Thriller” music video and also included the Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache” and “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé.
“We were having a good time,” said King, who explained that the team began rehearsing earlier in the week.
Although the event’s main focus was celebrating the Colonials sports teams, the evening welcomed a myriad of student spirit and performance groups. The red seat marking GW alumnus Red Auerbach’s former seat was commemorated by the Colonial Army and the night closed with a performance by hip-hop dance troupe Capital Funk.
Some outside groups were brought in to perform as well, such as the Chicago Bucket Boys percussion quartet and the Rim Rockers, a Milwaukee-based slam dunk team.
School mascots George, Big George and the Hippo all made appearances throughout the night, giving away T-shirts to attendees.
Excitement took a brief downturn when the power went out during the women’s basketball team’s entrance, killing all music and amplified sound in addition to special light and fog effects that had been prominent throughout the night.
“I knew something was wrong when the music went off,” sophomore center Sara Mostafa said.
Both team’s head coaches took the microphone to speak to those in attendance and generate excitement for the season. Women’s head coach Mike Bozeman promised that his team would “represent [GW] the way they should,” while men’s head coach Karl Hobbs said his squad is “ready to give you their absolute best.”
The pair also praised the GW Spirit program and those involved with putting together Colonials Invasion.
“All I have to say about this evening is, ‘wow,'” Hobbs told the crowd.
For Mostafa, last year’s event paled in comparison to this year’s effort.
“It was 100 times better than last year,” Mostafa said. “Having parents there definitely added to the atmosphere.”