COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland men’s and women’s basketball programs officially kicked off the 2016-17 basketball season with Maryland Madness Friday night at the XFINITY Center.
The highlights included a dunk competition with freshman Micah Thomas, senior L.G. Gill and freshman Kevin Huerter. The judges included a list of Maryland greats including Tom McMillen, Lonny Baxer, Byron Mouton, Vicki Brick and Walt Williams. In addition, Comcast SportsNet anchor Chick Hernandez also judged the contest.
Gill won the competition after a number of spectacular dunks. Gill stole the show with a one-handed tomahawk jam after throwing the ball off the backboard. The three-point competition was won by Jaylen Brantley and Sarah Myers.
“I have never done anything like this,” Gill said. “It was fun with everybody and the energy. I really enjoyed the fans. I am definitely looking forward to the season.”
Members of the Special Olympics of Maryland joined the men’s and women’s players during introductions and assisted with a number of the events.
Maryland head coaches Mark Turgeon and Brenda Frese addressed the Maryland faithful, expressing their appreciation for their support for the upcoming season.
“Maryland Madness is one of our favorite nights,” Frese. “We love seeing our fans and getting both teams together. We were excited to start off the season with a lot of Maryland Pride.”
Frese has won two consecutive Big Ten titles and has taken the Terps to the Final Four two of the last three seasons.
“You’re not only going to like this team, but you will love this team,” Turgeon said. “They practice very hard and they are a skilled group. We are going to grow as a team as the season goes on. I just want to thank everybody here because we’ve had a 34-2 home record over the past two seasons and you, our fans, willed us to wins in many of those games.”
Turgeon, whose team reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in 13 seasons, is excited for the start of his sixth season in College Park.
The Maryland women’s team opens its exhibition season Nov. 2 against Bluefield State at 2 p.m. The men’s team faces Catabwa College Saturday, Nov. 5 at a time to be determined.