The regular season has not started and already the men’s basketball team is continuing where they left off last year, carving a new path of Bulldog basketball firsts.

After their first postseason victory in the history of the program last year against Rutgers in the NIT, the Elis, in conjunction with the women’s basketball team, will hold Yale’s first-ever “Midnight Madness” event Oct. 11 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater starting at 11 pm. Around the nation, basketball teams hold Midnight Madness events to officially open their regular season practice schedule, attracting media attention and campus support for the team.

This Friday, the event will include a residential college shooting contest, a chicken wing-eating contest between fraternities, a half-court shot contest and free T-shirts for fans in attendance. Prizes for the contests will include a spring break trip for the student who makes the half-court shot and a wing party for the residential college that wins the shooting contest.

At midnight on Oct. 12, the 2002-03 basketball season will officially begin and the Elis will open their first practice with slam-dunk and three-point shooting contests. As the team begins practice, a banner will be raised to commemorate the Bulldogs’ 2001-02 Ivy League championship.

For captain Chris Leanza ’03, Friday night’s festivities represent a welcome respite from the intense midnight practices he experienced in his last three years as a Bulldog.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Leanza said. “It’s something new, and after last season we definitely generated a lot more excitement around here and hopefully this will give us inspiration to work hard in practice every day. As a kid, you grow up watching North Carolina and Duke at midnight, and to be a part of that now is amazing.”

–Yale Daily News