You may or may not have been aware of the Midnight Madness event happening on Christmas night. This fantastic alumni basketball tradition has been going on for 30 years! While most people are sound asleep, exhausted from a full day of eating, spending time with family, and enjoying newly received gifts, there have been dozens and dozens of basketball alumni working up a sweat running up and down the Hillcrest Union courts.
The first Midnight Madness was played on Christmas night, 1990. John Beachy ‘74 Doyle Geyer, and Tom (Goose) Miller were the ones that, after too many Christmas dinners, thought it would be a good idea to ‘play’ off the calories. Little did they know what started with just a handful of guys playing a game they loved would turn into such a rich tradition.
Over the years there have been over 200 different people who have participated. Attendance peaked at 49 players in 2000. If they care to, players each pay $5-10 donation to participate. The collection which typically averages around $100 per year is donated to school. Besides the founders, several alumni have participated 10 or more times with ironman, Loren Hochstedler ‘71 participating 23 times! The list includes Joel Beachy ‘98, Stephen Bender ‘97, Jerry Etheredge ‘01, Jason Hershberger ‘92, Doug Hochstedler ‘99, Adam Ingersoll ‘93, Randy Rempel ‘92, Aaron Swartzendruber ‘94, Andy Swartzentruber ‘99, Marshall Swartzendruber ‘98, Karl Yoder ‘02, Luke Yoder ‘04.
Over the years there have definitely been some more memorable nights. When Doyle Geyer was asked he said, “One year there was an ice storm while we were playing. A bunch of people had trouble getting home.” He also mentioned, “The time Team Bailey (with Seth), dominated the night.” Another thing Geyer talked about was, “Having had a few times when all 10 guys on the winner’s court were former or current college players.” Geyer went on to say about Midnight Madness, “I think a bunch of guys saw this as a reunion of sorts, maybe even a Christmas tradition!”
If you are looking for some exercise after a big Christmas meal or you just want to catch up with some former teammates, join us Christmas night in the gym with pick up games starting around 10:00 PM.