Midnight Madness set for Friday night

In just a matter of days, the last basketball season of this millennium will tip off in gymnasiums across America. And in basketball-mad Foggy Bottom, Friday, Oct. 15 will be no different.

For the second-straight year, Colonials hoops will kick off with “Midnight Madness,” and this edition promises to be an unprecedented extravaganza for GW – featuring indoor fireworks, Hawaiian dancers, fire twirlers, acrobatic bicyclists, giveaways, and a laser-light show. And that’s all before the basketball teams start their first practices of the season at midnight.

The doors will open at 10:45 p.m., with entertainment to be provided until the main event starts when the lights go out at 11:15 p.m. News Channel 8’s Glenn Harris will handle the master of ceremony duties. Both teams will scrimmage at midnight, when NCAA teams are first allowed to hold practices.

“We’ll try to have some fun with it,” women’s head coach Joe McKeown said. “It’s something for the students and fans.”

“It’s for the kids,” said men’s head coach Tom Penders. “It’s past my bedtime.”

In addition to the Friday-night festivities, GW planned a Spirit Week that kicks off this Sunday when buses will take students to the women’s soccer game against Rhode Island. The buses will leave at 12:15 p.m. from the H Street Terrace. Some of the other highlights include:

– Monday, the Redskinnetts will perform at J Street during “Monday Night Football.”

– Tuesday through Friday, promotions will be ongoing during the day at J Street, including free haircuts (a $5 donation goes to the Turkish Relief Fund) from Bubbles Tuesday from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

– Wednesday, a barbecue will be held at the Mount Vernon campus from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. in conjunction with Outback Steakhouse. A bonfire will start at 9 p.m.

– Thursday night at 6 p.m., faculty and staff will take on a student team in a basketball game at the Smith Center. Athletic Director Jack Kvancz will referee.

– Friday, buses will run to the men’s soccer game against St. Bonaventure, and volleyball will host UMass at 7 p.m.

All of this will lead up to “Midnight Madness,” which is open to all students and their families (“Family Weekend” will be then, also).

All events, from the barbecue to the “Madness,” will be free.

Basketball Note:

– 1999 graduate Shawnta Rogers’ mother confirmed Wednesday that Rogers is currently at the New Jersey Nets’ camp, where he is competing for a roster spot with the team. Rogers’ mother also said that Shawnta is continuing to attend class at GW this semester, seeking to finish his degree.

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