Hoop dreams could come true for one
On the eve of Homecoming, one lucky Chicago student will have the chance to make hoop dreams a reality.
The raffle winner at this year's Midnight Madness will win a year of free tuition ($25,000) if he or she successfully executes a half-court shot.
In the three years since the inception of Midnight Madness, a homecoming celebration that also kicks off the men's and women's basketball seasons, no one has made the shot. But this marks the first year that the raffle winner will be shooting from the half-court line instead of the three-quarter court line. In other words, one lucky student is due.
"I think Midnight Madness will be a great way for students to have fun, show some school spirit and maybe win free tuition next year," said Abby Chua, Vice President of Student Government. "And it's true, I wouldn't mind being a raffle winner."
According to NCAA rules, Division III basketball teams can begin practice at midnight on Oct. 23. To commemorate the beginning of the season, the Athletic Department, the Women's Athletic Association, the Order of the C, Maroon Superfans and Student Government joined together for a special presentation of the men's and women's basketball teams and a celebration of fall sports. Inspired by the Midnight Madness events at Division I schools, Chicago began a unique tradition of its own.
"Our student groups and the Athletics Department have made an outstanding mutual effort to take a Division I sports tradition and turn it into a night of fun for all of our students. It's definitely something Chicago can be proud to call our own," said Mike McGrath, Assistant Basketball Coach and Director of Athletic Promotions.
Activities begin around 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, at Henry Crown Field House. The first 400 students will receive free T-shirts and there will be additional giveaways throughout the evening. Every student in attendance will receive a free raffle ticket. At midnight, the winning raffle ticket will be drawn, and that lucky student will be invited onto the court at the end of the evening for the chance to sink a half-court shot.
Midnight Madness will also feature a pep rally for the football team and fall sports teams, an introduction of the basketball players and a three-point contest between the men's and women's basketball teams. There will also be a slam-dunk contest that is open to everyone.
Almost 700 students participated last year and the numbers are expected to go up. "Midnight Madness is a great way to introduce the student body to the fall athletes as well as the basketball teams. Our goal is to make athletics at Chicago more visible, and Midnight Madness has helped accomplish that over the last two years," said Amy Still, President of the Women's Athletic Association. "We're looking forward to a great turnout this year, and hopefully, someone will sink 'The Shot.'"