Midnight shoot-arounds will christen upcoming hoops season

Friday will mark the beginning of a new era in Temple basketball and it will happen at the stroke of midnight as Midnight Madness makes its way to the Liacouras Center.

Not to be confused with an actual exhibition game, the event is more like a welcoming experience for fans and players alike. The free, crowd-friendly event was mainly constructed in hope of providing students, fans and the general public the opportunity to meet the latest faces of the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Scott Walcoff, assistant athletic director of marketing promotions and ticketing, said the event is exactly what the school needs to help draw more fan support.

“With so many new faces making their debut in Temple Athletics this year, especially coaches, [the marketing department] saw this as a chance to bring the fans to the teams in a fun atmosphere,” Walcoff said.

The event is set to begin at 6 p.m. on the IBC side of the Liacouras Center. The first section of the event will resemble that of the tailgating events held at Lincoln Financial Field prior to Temple’s home football games. There will be food, drinks, music and prizes given away to those in attendance.

“We hope to create a loose atmosphere and [we] think a lot of the giveaways will draw a crowd on their own,” Walcoff added.Of those giveaways, there will be book stipends and even Liacouras Center suite tickets raffled off though the night.

At 11 p.m., the festivities will move inside the Liacouras Center. Here the players and coaches for the teams will be introduced, along with Temple’s trio of mascots, the Diamond Gem Dance team and the cheerleading squad. A question-and-answer session where attendees can ask the coaches or players questions about the upcoming season will follow the introductions. Then the real fun begins.

Several on-court contests have been slated
to help crowd participation. Three point shoot-outs, a dunk contest and a half-court shot contest will be held with prizes for each.

“Hopefully the event can lead to even more of a fan-friendly experience,” Walcoff said.

“Maybe one day it can turn into an overnight thing, where those who campout the longest can win even bigger prizes, like Wild Cherry passes.

“Holders of the Wild Cherry season ticket
passes can also pick up their packages on the night of the Midnight Madness. The package includes a Wild Cherry T-shirt, student-section seating and first crack at postseason tournament trips sponsored by Temple

For information on the Midnight Madness
event, contact Carlos Bates at cdbates@temple.edu.

Jeremy Drummond can be reached at jdrum@temple.edu.

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