Terps reach back to past to celebrate Madness

October 19, 2013 | WNST Staff

The Maryland men’s and women’s basketball teams honored the past and present of Terrapins basketball at Maryland Madness in front of an electric crowd of 11,500 at Cole Field House Friday night.

The history of both programs was on display with numerous legendary figures on hand for the event and the atmosphere evoked great games of the past in the hallowed building.

An alumni game featuring former Maryland players Juan Dixon, Walt Williams and Byron Mouton, among others, opened the event. A ceremony narrated by former Terp gymnast and current broadcaster Bonnie Bernstein paid tribute to other legends including Ernie Graham and Vicky Bullett.

The women’s team came to the floor first. Coach Brenda Frese addressed the crowd after meeting at mid-court with former Terrapin coaches Dottie McKnight and Chris Weller.

“Tonight was really special for both teams,” Frese said.  “I think for our players to be able to understand the past and what was here before them, I thought it was a pretty emotional night.”

The men’s team followed, with the players pumping up the crowd with a number of acrobatic dunks.  Head coachMark Turgeon was introduced after former Maryland coaches Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams to the delight of the Terrapin faithful in attendance.

“I thought it was a fantastic night,” Turgeon said upon his introduction, flashing a V-sign and a fist pump in honor of his predecessors. “Our players loved it. The former players loved it. The crowd loved it. It’s one of the nights you’ll always remember.”

The event ended with each team participating in separate scrimmages. Both squads continued to honor the past, sporting the names of former Terrapin greats who shared their number on the back of each jersey.

The men’s team opens the season against UConn on Nov. 8 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The women’s team faces South Florida on the road in its opener.

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