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University of Memphis Hosts First Student Madness Event

The Tigers Men and Women's basketball teams feel to have found a successful way to engage with students ahead of the regular season.  

Last Wednesday, the Tigers hosted their first-ever Student Madness in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, the on-campus court for the Women’s basketball team. In previous years, this was an event hosted at the FedEx Forum for all Memphis fans around the city.

The Athletics Department along with the support from coaches and players felt the event being held on campus was good for the student body and teams alike. The change allowed the teams to have more creative fluidity with their events so that students could have the opportunity to interact with the players.


“It was different,” said men's head coach Penny Hardaway. "I think everybody is kind of in shock because it was new with the students, but I like it because I think every year that you do it it's going to get better”. 

As the new head coach of the Women's basketball team, Alex Simmons experienced her first student madness and made a great impression on the sold-out Fieldhouse crowd. From running out of the introduction tunnel with energy to getting hype with her team to the party classic Crime Mob’s Knuck If You Buck, Simmons looks to be comfortable in her new setting.

Simmons talked about how the turnout of students shows the amount of passion the student body has for the two teams. “The turnout was great, you can’t ask for anything better than packing this thing out,” said Simmons. “You just see the commitment from them and the passion they have for this University going into the season.” 

Fans were treated to a show all night long and it got started early on. The event included introductions of the teams, long-time Memphis sports DJ Mic Tee playing a variety of songs to mix from, and a sequence of competitions between the teams.

However, this year was presented with a twist where students were also able to compete in the competitions as well. Select students participated in events such as the three-point contest, half-court shots, and a variation of H.O.R.S.E. Students had opportunities to win prizes all night and were treated to a show at the end of the night by uprising Memphis rapper Big Boogie. 


Players expressed their enjoyment in the first-year event as well. As much as the players felt the energy from the crowd all night, they also took the opportunity to bond with their teammates during the events. 

Maddie Griggs, a 5th-year guard who broke the university's three-point record last season with over 219 three-pointers, has participated in every Tiger Madness event since 2019. She expressed how much she loved that all students had the opportunity to attend the event compared to previous years.

“I loved that all the students were able to come. Memphis Madness it was mostly fans and limited students,” said Griggs. “A lot of people don’t get to see stuff like this for free. So, it was amazing to watch the students come out and enjoy everything and enjoy us.”

The men's team also enjoyed the event as well, as 5th-year Alabama transfer Jahvon Quinerly talked about his first experience as well. “It's definitely a good experience for the team, and great for the students to see the team as well,” said Quinerly. “It was definitely good.” 

Both teams want students to feel a part of the teams as their respective seasons start in a few weeks. With students selling out the event, the Tigers should expect good support from them.

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