DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Thursday night marked the return of Midnight Madness to the campus of North Georgia College & State University. With over 1,000 students and fans packed into Memorial Hall Gymnasium’s stands, the 2012-13 basketball season officially started to smiles, laughter and cheers.
The North Georgia Student Government Association brought back Midnight Madness, dubbing the event “Sending off the Saints.” It not only gave students and fans the opportunity to have fun meeting the 2012-13 squads, it also gave the campus the opportunity to unite under the banner of Saints as the school heads towards consolidation in January which will bring about a mascot change.
Bentley the Saint Bernard even attended the event, allowing students, faculty, staff and fans to pose with him for pictures while Bernie, the Saints’ mascot, made his rounds during the event.
Things got underway at 10:00 p.m. with popcorn, drinks, music and several games. The cheer and dance teams then kept the crowd cheering with performances before the night’s climax.
At 11:00 p.m., the women’s basketball team was introduced as head coach Buffie Burson enters her 19th season at the helm of the program. After the women performed warm-up drills, the men’s team was introduced behind 10th-year head coach Chris Faulkner. The Saints continued to fire up the crowd with a display of dunks highlighted by junior transfer Ishmael Hollis dunking over fellow transfer Lamar Richardson.
Everyone in attendance was given the chance to register for the chance to win a one-year lease on a Honda sedan provided by Milton Martin Honda, but the car did not find a new home. Other prizes were also given away throughout the night.
“The return of Midnight Madness was a big success,” stated Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves. “This event could not have been such a great success without the students and fans coming out, and of course without the hard work of all involved. Next year will certainly be even better.”