by Rachel O’Kelley
The basketball season is officially up and running. Midnight Madness brought in a crowd last Thursday night, encouraging school spirit and support for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
This year, students packed into the Fieldhouse early for the annual event, ready to meet this year’s teams. The Whitworth crowd was welcomed by upbeat music and strobe lights.
Junior Jonny Whitmore, sports events and tournaments coordinator, put together Midnight Madness this year. It was his first year coordinating the event, and he said he was happy with how excited both students and faculty were about it.
Whitmore said the event was a great way for students to get excited for the players, get involved and win free stuff.
“Midnight Madness is the kickoff to the basketball season and it’s kind of like a pep rally,” Whitmore said.
Students were encouraged to participate in games, such as dodge ball, to win prizes and experience the event from the court. But students were not the only ones involved in the competitions; President Beck Taylor and professor of communication studies Alan Mikkelson competed against each other in a 15-shot game.
Students were also encouraged to learn the new interlude dance, which will be performed during half time starting this basketball season.
The energy brought fans into the experience, allowing them to get involved and interact with players, by watching and participating in similar games.
“It was my first year going and I thought it was really cool,” junior Melissa Ross said. “I really like the lights and the fog machine. I also knew some of the players; I had class with some of them last year.”
Midnight Madness was exciting for die-hard Whitworth basketball fans, like Ross who only missed a game or two last season, and students just looking for something fun to attend.
“It was madness, but I had a lot of fun and the T-shirts were great this year,” senior Kelsey Bacon said.
Each student who attended Midnight Madness were given a free T-shirt, designed by senior graphic design major Camille MacKie.
“I’ve worked for a T-shirt company in the past, so I’m in to designing them,” MacKie said.
There were some new changes this year, including the dance following the event. Whitmore said the changes were a hit with students, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to large-scale events such as Midnight Madness.