Midnight Madness, the UK’s premier summer basketball event, is returning after a year hiatus, having announced its first qualifier event will be tipping off this weekend.
With a new partner in JD Sports, the Midnight Madness Select Travel Team is back – this year’s winners will be given an opportunity to fly out to Atlanta, Orlando, Paris and Belgrade to represent the UK and take on international competition!
“I’m amped up!,” said MM’s founder Nhamo Shire. “Last year was tough, as we had to pull the events because of the riots – which was a little ironic as we are part of the solution to all that stuff, not the problem. It felt as though summer never really happened! So bringing it back this year is exciting but also a real strong feeling of getting back to how things are supposed to be. Summer without Midnight Madness is like summer without sun…it just can’t run.” The event is made up of four divisions this year: MM Prep (for U18 boys), MM She Got Game (for U19 girls), MM College (for U21 men) and MM Pro (for all men over 21).
There are just two qualifiers this summer – the 19th (this Sunday!) and 25th August – both of which are at Brixton Rec; a change in the normal schedule which usually sees the tournament running across the country. Shire understands some may be disappointed but explained that circumstances outside of their control have forced his hand.
“Well first of all we have love for ballers nationwide and are a little sad we can’t make it to the other regions this year,” he said. “But hopefully they’ll understand that the Olympics have dominated the facilities and opportunities for us to run a normal MM schedule this summer. It’s taken a massive amount of work just to be able to even bring it back to London this summer as the situation with facilities availability and all the things that go along with putting on a MM event has been really really tough to get through.
“We will be back in other regions of the UK next summer, for sure, and have already confirmed some exciting things for next year that will get MM back onto a more familiar schedule of events – but for this year, we are focused on doing a short, intense MM hit in London for all the ballers to get a dose of the Madness to keep them going until more events become possible.”
The format is the same as always – players will have to show what they got on the ‘Show & Prove’ courts with the hope of getting an invite on to the ‘Elite Court’. On the Elite Court, ballers will be put on balanced teams (by position) selected by the Midnight Madness talent scouts, and given an opportunity to get that much wanted ‘Golden Ticket’ through the now renowned ‘Ball Without Bias‘ points scoring system.
The top 5 players at each position (25 players in total in each division) get their golden ticket to the Midnight Madness Boot Camp, which will be held at London’s newest basketball court, ‘The Regal‘.
Boot camp will be a day of intense coaching, drills, and games, after which 20 players in each division will be selected to play in front of thousands of fans at Midnight Madness Finals Night on 1st September at UEL Sports Dock.
Added to the usual opportunities, Midnight Madness’ recently launched brand new website only serves to help with player exposure.
“Through our travel teams and also our website, we feel we’re able to help profile players better than ever before,” explained Nhamo. “Players can now come to MM and get their own individual player profile, ranking and gametape on their own page on our site, which is checked by coaches at all levels throughout the year.
“We’re also taking teams out of the UK to play in tournaments that will help increase their exposure and experience. Each team is scheduled to travel away over the forthcoming year, so it’s going to be a great opportunity for players across the country. To top it all off, somehow, we’ve managed to still keep it 100% free for ballers – all they need to do is sign up on our site!”
Midnight Madness Qualifier Schedule – Sunday 19 August
10am-12pm – Free LSB Coaching Clinic
12pm-2:30pm – MM Prep (U18s)
2:30pm-4:30pm – She Got Game (U19 girls)
4:30pm-7:00pm – MM College (U21M)
7:00pm-10:00pm – MM Pro (O21M)
What are you waiting for?! To get registered, and for more information, check out the official website of Midnight Madness.
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