ProArts Consortium students hit the hardwood

Among pro sports fans, New York’s Madison Square Garden is considered the mecca of basketball.

But on Sunday, Emerson’s Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gymnasium took that title for the six schools in the Professional Arts Consortium [ProArts].

For four and a half hours, over 60 arts students traded their cameras, pens, and brushes for a basketball and pair of sneakers in a three-on-three basketball tournament.

The event celebrated the one-year anniversary of the ProArts website. It was sponsored by ProArts and the Emerson Athletics Department. The ProArts Consortium consists of Berklee College of Music, the Boston Architectural College, the Boston Conservatory, Emerson College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Get This Week's News

All the big stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning 

While the focus was on basketball, the sports environment couldn’t put a damper on the students’ creative personalities.

Team names like ‘Nylon Song,’ ‘Team Hank Smith,’ ‘Chicken Fried Rice,’ and ‘The Sleepy Floyds’ were just a few of the competing squads.

Emerson students Matt Haviland and brothers Brendan and Terry Stackhouse won the costume contest.

They wore board shorts, headbands, and a t-shirt with a mustached man on the front. Each player’s nickname was stamped on his back.

The Stackhouse brothers went by “Regular-Stack” and “Short-Stack” accompanied by Haviland aka “Non-Stack.”

“We came to play for domination,” said Terry, a junior broadcast journalism major. “We’re looking to bring the game to the floor and to win T-shirts.”

But despite a strong hustle, they were eliminated in the first round, 7-2, by MassArt team “Swag Mob 1,000.”

A similar competitive spirit swept through many participants, some  of whom came from schools without any athletic programs: This was their chance to get in a game.

“A lot of our schools don’t have sports, but this is a great way to stay in shape. It’s a great program, to play, get free stuff, and mingle,” said Jean Yau, an architecture major from Boston Architectural College. Yau’s team, Staircase, won the coed tournament.

The winner of the men’s bracket was “Top Flight,” a team composed of Drew Venter, a broadcast journalism major at Emerson College, and MassArt photography majors Rashad Jenkins-Maxwell and Jonathan Francois.

Venter, ‘Top Flight’s’ captain and an Emerson basketball starter, said he was glad to have some time on the court.

“I came down just to have fun and play ball — my season just ended,” said the junior point guard.

The winners of both the coed and the men’s tournament were awarded tickets to shows at ArtsEmerson, Berklee, or the Boston Conservatory.

The head of the consortium, Ross Bresler, said his goal was to connect students from across all six schools.

“I hope everyone has fun, and has a chance to meet creative young people across Boston,” Bresler said. “This is one way to get them to know each other exist,” said the Berklee associate professor.

Emerson junior Daniel Gerena  said he met some Berklee students.

“They said they don’t get to play that much but they love to play — and that’s what brought us all out,” said the visual and media arts major.

Gerena played for his team, “Working Title,” which was eliminated in the semifinals of the men’s section.

Chris McComb, the assistant general manager of the Emerson Fitness Center, helped organize the event, and said the high interest could mean the development of a steady intramural schedule in the future.

“There could be a tournament every couple of weeks, and maybe leagues next year, if the interest is there,” she said, adding that she was impressed with the turnout. “We had to close the tournament to new teams Thursday night. There was a huge amount of interest.”

Students hoping to join the fun should watch for further announcements. Bresler said he hopes to hold an ultimate Frisbee tournament at Rotch Field later this semester.