Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 27, 2017

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Students in the stands excitedly raise their arms and wave them around, trying to catch giveaways. T-shirts, retro jerseys and small basketballs were given away as prizes.

Photo courtesy of MU Athletics 

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Photo courtesy of MU Athletics 

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During the dance competition at Manchester Madness, the women were voted winners against the men's dance team.

Photo courtesy of MU Athletics 

Manchester Madness Excites Basketball Teams for Upcoming Season 

Teresa Masteller 

The Manchester women’s and men’s basketball teams had a ball at Manchester Madness in the Stauffer-Wolfe Arena on Friday, Oct. 20, as they kicked off their 2017-2018 seasons. Presented by Manchester University’s event management and marketing and sponsorship classes, Manchester Madness introduced the two teams as well as their coaching staffs.

As the stands filled with people, loud music played and a large projector streamed some of the teams’ highlights. Soon after, the music turned off and the introductions began. Players from both teams enjoyed this part the best. “My favorite part about Manchester Madness was the player introduction,” said Faith-Alexis Graham, a senior on the women’s team. “Each player's walk-out song and fun fact gave the crowd a chance to get to know the players a little better. I would say that Manchester Madness was a great way to start the season.”

James Callegari, a senior on the men’s basketball team, said: “I liked being able to see all of the players being introduced and being excited to represent Manchester. The whole school got a chance to see who is on the basketball team, and Manchester Madness was overall an entertaining experience for everybody who attended. Everybody was having fun and got to see that the engagement from the players, fans and coaches was a special sight.”

Throughout the event, there were plenty of opportunities for the audience to get involved. As students entered the arena, they were each given two raffle tickets. They were able to enter their raffle tickets in different drawings in order to win prizes that they were interested in winning. Prizes included gift cards and an autographed Steve Alford jersey as the grand prize.

 If their number was called during the event, the student would go on the basketball court and compete against other students to win prizes, with the help of players of both the men’s and women’s teams. These games included various shooting games. All audience members had a chance to get free T-shirts, retro jerseys and small foam basketballs, as they were thrown into the audience during the event.

The two teams also competed in the first ever Manchester Madness basketball team dance off. Three of the men’s basketball players represented their team, while two women’s basketball players represented theirs, but the women’s choreographed moves led to the audience declaring them the winner.

Nicole Weaver, a sophomore on the women’s basketball team, had fun competing in the shooting competition and is confident about the upcoming season. “This season, I’m most excited for our home games,” Weaver said. “We have so much fun when we get to play at home in front of our friends and family. We’ll be able to compete and utilize everything we’ve worked hard at in preseason, and I can’t wait!

“I feel like we have a lot of great things going for us this year,” she continued. “We have an older, more experienced team with girls who love the game and want to win. Our team has girls who work hard at everything they do, so I believe we’ll be successful both in the classroom and on the court.”

The support shown by the audience at Manchester madness left Keiton Hall, a senior on the men’s basketball team, feeling eager for the upcoming season. “I'm excited to play with this group of guys,” he said. “Our chemistry is better than last year both on and off the court, and I think that will carry over into better play as a unit. I'm also looking forward to playing in front of our students and fans. They've shown great support since I've been here, and we want to give them a great season to watch!”

After the fight song wrapped up the night, the unexpected and retired Spartacus mascot made an appearance. He started trying to fight the current mascot, Manny. Spartacus was soon unveiled to be President Dave McFaddenHe ended the night with a few quick words of encouragement to the teams and the audience.