With the fall athletic season more than halfway over, winter sports have begun practice and are gearing up for the upcoming season. This winter, the University will see the debuts of two new head basketball coaches for both the men’s and women’s team, in King Rice and Jenny Palmateer. Since there is no 6:00 am game this year, the University will be hosting “MAC Madness” on Friday October 21 at the Mac.
“MAC Madness” is a University-wide event to celebrate the beginning of the basketball season.
All students, faculty, and employees are welcome to attend the two hour event, which will run from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
The event will consist of free food from local restaurants, free Monmouth gear, and there will be several giveaways and prizes as well. Students will have the opportunity to participate in “Minute-to-win-it” events, as well as a few games of knockout. Additionally, the first 100 people in attendance will receive free MAC Madness t-shirts.
Not only will attendees be able to compete in events for prizes, but both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be competing in various events as well. They will be taking part in a three-point contest, a 20 minute mixed men’s and women’s game. The game will work as an all-star game, as there will be opportunities for double points, 50 point shots, and most likely some trick shots and dunks.
Edward Occhipinti, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing, Advertising and Promotions, says the overall goal is to get people pumped about the upcoming basketball season. “We want this to be an entertaining event for all of those who are in attendance and we are gearing towards growing attendance for the games. Our goal with this event is to do a lot of stuff in a short amount of time to raise excitement on and around campus,” Occhipinti said.
Rice and Palmateer both look forward to the event and to meet a number of the team’s supporters.
“I’m extremely excited about the event, as it will be the first time the team will be all together in front of the student body. Hopefully we have a great turn out on Friday, as well as for our games because I believe having great attendance can help us win games,” Rice said.
“I think it’s an awesome idea, as there is a lot of excitement about both basketball programs right now. I look forward to interaction with the students and overall I believe the event will be very fun,” said Palmateer.
When asked if the coaches will participate in any of the games, both coaches said that they would leave the playing up to the players and just enjoy meeting the student fan base. However, Palmateer added that she believes the women’s basketball team will represent in the dance competition, and that Rice will show everyone how it’s done.
The event will present numerous opportunities to expand attendance for both programs, which is why Occhipinti feels an event like this is so important. “For one, these type of events increase the visibility of our athletics programs, in this case the men’s and women’s basketball teams. They also should increase school spirit and pride by showing the students and basketball fans that we are committed to making sure they have the best possible time they can at our events. Ideally, things like this become annual traditions that students and the campus community, as well as our supporters off campus, look forward to participating in,” said Occhipinti.