NIU uses themed attire road trips

The women’s basketball team dresses in its favorite Disney characters for a Dec. 16 game against Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

By Danielle Brown

DeKALB | The women’s basketball team keeps the mood light during road trips by dressing up in fun-themed attire when traveling on the bus.

Sophomore forward Courtney Woods said the coaching staff came up with the idea at the beginning of the season, but the team has or will have a theme for every away game.

“Traveling is really hard,” Woods said. “You sit on the bus for eight hours and [dressing up] kind of makes it a little bit more enjoyable.”

The themes began with onesie pajamas in November and continued with favorite jersey day, favorite Disney character, favorite hat, and most recently, a Christmas sweater theme. The themes immediately caught fans’ attention and allowed them to see another side of the team.

Woods said each class on the team — freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as coaches — were given a road trip in which they had to dress up to a certain theme. Woods and her sophomore class wore Christmas sweaters in their most recent Jan. 11 road trip to Kent State University.

“It’s fun to dress up,” Woods said. “It’s really cool because everyone does their own thing and it’s something to look forward to.”

The themes appear to have worked thus far in the season as the Huskies are 6-3 away from the Convocation Center, and the team is off to its best start since the 1993-94 season with an overall record of 12-5 and a Mid-American Conference record of 5-1.

Woods said one theme the team went with was “favorite team jersey” for one of its road trips, and senior guard Ally Lehman wore an Indiana Pacers jersey to represent her home state.

Dressing up as a team has helped the Huskies form strong bonds on and off the court, sophomore guard Mikayla Voigt said.

“It kind of takes our mind off of having to take a four-hour bus ride and the nerves of everything that’s happening,” Voigt said. “I think it kind of just brings out our goofy side, and it allows us to have fun together, and I think that’s really cool.”

In addition to dressing up, the Huskies also dance in the locker room to get hyped for the game. The Huskies finished their final road trip of the regular season Jan. 15 against Toledo.

Woods said the juniors picked the theme of “favorite hat” for the team’s next road trip this weekend. The following road trip, Feb. 11, will be the senior’s choice of “twin day” where two teammates will dress the same.