Hoops Season Begins at Illini Madness
Oct. 12, 2007
Champaign, Ill. - Illinois opened the 2007-08 college basketball season on Friday night, hosting Illini Madness in front of 12,000 fans at the Assembly Hall. Normally a sea of orange, The Hall was painted pink tonight as everyone in the crowd wore pink Fighting Illini Basketball T-Shirts designed to raise awareness for the fight against cancer. Proceeds from the sale of 20,000 shirts, coupled with a $7,500 donation from the Orange Krush student support group, helped Illinois raise a total of $47,500 for Coaches vs. Cancer at Illini Madness.
Tonight's festivities began with a number of high-energy performances by Hip-notic, Alpha Phi Alpha, Brickheadz and Muntu Dance Theatre. Ball 4 Real then took the court, taking on U of I intramural champions "The Johnnies" in a 10-minute scrimmage.
Following introductions of the Illini players and coaches, a 3-point shooting contest was held. Two teams of three players competed against each other, with two players from the men's team and one from the women's team making up each squad. The trio of Trent Meacham, Chris Hicks and Lori Bjork defeated the team of Steve Holdren, Chester Frazier and Rebecca Harris by the combined score of 25-16. Meacham had the hot hand in the contest, accounting for 13 of his team's 25 points.
Following a speech by new Illini women's head coach Jolette Law, a dunk contest was held featuring all newcomers: Rodney Alexander, Jeff Jordan, Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale. Davis won the slam dunk title, defeating Tisdale in the final.
The Illini then held a 20-minute running-clock scrimmage and Head Coach Bruce Weber addressed the crowd to wrap up the evening.
Illinois returns to the Assembly Hall on Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. for the Orange & Blue Scrimmage.