Wednesday, October 16th was Greenville University’s Midnight Madness, where they introduced the 2019-2020 Greenville Universities Men’s and Women’s basketball teams! This was an exciting pep rally-type experience where students, fans, and the community were able to come and check out how both teams are looking this year as well as get familiar with the faces on the team. During Midnight Madness, the Dance and Cheer Spirit Squad also performed their amazing routine in between games. There was also a full-court 5-on-5 faculty vs. student game where the faculty got to show their skills against Greenville students. The theme was a blackout event where the players wore their black on black uniforms and fans dressed up in all black!
Midnight Madness started at 9 p.m. and lasted until about 10:45 p.m. The first 50 people to enter the gym for this event were given a free t-shirt! People in the stands had a chance to snag one as the Spirit Squad got the crowd to cheer loud and passed out more t-shirts into the bleachers.
First, we had the Faculty vs. Student game, where 10 students from the audience were picked to put on jerseys and play against the faculty and staff. The faculty showed they still had some pep in their step, making it a very close game! The students cheered loud for their professors and coaches to score and win the game. However, the students came out on top in a fun and exciting scrimmage.
The second event was a three-point shooting contest between the men’s and the women’s team. Each team had three players that would shoot 10 three-pointers and then a half-court shot. Representing the women’s team was Brittany Lopez, Katelyn Wolfram, and Haven Robertson. On the other side of the court, representing the men’s team was Marvin Bateman, Austyn Contreras, and Justin Reyes. Whichever team had the most makes at the end of all three rounds won! Although it was close with all 6 shooters showing great effort and talent, the men’s team pulled out the win.
Next up was the women’s scrimmage, where they had 12 minutes to show off their new roster by scrimmaging each other. They split the scrimmage into two, the first half belonging to the Freshmen vs. Sophomores and the second half featuring the Juniors vs. Seniors. The women’s team showed off their talented roster by playing hard and fast while hitting many threes. Junior guard Lauren Eagleson said, “During Midnight Madness, we felt that the students and fans were hyped up and supportive of what we had to show them. Even though we were only a few days into official practice, we wanted to show the work that we put in during the off-season, and I think we did that. Hopefully this encouraged people to attend more of our games this season.” It is looking like a good year for the Lady Panthers!
The Spirit Squad kept the energy going as the performed in between the women’s and men’s scrimmage. They rolled out their mats on the floor and danced their routine that got the crowd going. From cheer stunts and backflips to a full dance routine, the Spirit Squad had the gym jumping!
It was then time for the men’s scrimmage, the men would showcase their Varsity and JV rosters. The men had 15 minutes and broke them up into about 4-minute segments. The first two were JV vs. JV and the last two were Varsity vs. Varsity. There are 41 total players on the men’s basketball team; 20 men on Varsity and 21 men on Junior Varsity. The men’s team showed off various dunks and deep threes, keys to their fast-paced offense. Both men’s teams showed that they are prepared for the upcoming season ahead of them!
The last event of the night was the dunk contest between members of the men’s team. The dunkers were Rakim Murphy, Justin Cross, Barry Nixon, Kalind Anderson, and Collin Goodwin. With many outstanding and creative dunks and dunk attempts, there was only one winner. Kalind Anderson shut down the gym and won the dunk contest as the freshman threw down an exploding windmill from the middle of the paint. “I felt great, it was my first time ever being in a dunk contest and for me to win and shock everybody as a freshman made it even better,” said Kalind.
Come out and support the men’s team, women’s team, and Spirit Squad in H.J. Long Gymnasium this season!