By Rick Palsgrove
Basketball season is around the corner and the Groveport Madison Cruisers will welcome it in by showcasing this year’s players and also inviting alumni players to come back and show they still have game.
The second annual Red and Black Night will be held in the gym at Groveport Madison High School, 4475 S. Hamilton Road on Nov. 18. Admission is $1 or a canned food item for Groveport Madison Human Needs.
“We have made great strides over the last six years building on the success and traditions of the GMHS basketball program,” said Ryan Grashel, Groveport Madison boys varsity basketball head coach. “We received a lot of positive feedback from community members and alumni from last year’s Red and Black Night. It is a great way to recognize, reconnect, and celebrate our rich history and bright future. This will be the final season in the old gym and we definitely want our alumni a final chance to relive their glory days.”
Red and Black Night spotlights the Cruiser boys and girls basketball programs. From 5-6:30 p.m. there will be a high school girls basketball intro/scrimmage; Cruiserettes dance; cheerleader intro/dance; and high school boys basketball intro/scrimmage. The men’s alumni game will be at 6:30 p.m. There will not be a women’s alumni game this year. The alumni games will consist of two 15 minute halves.
Other activities include a 3-point shooting contest, $1 shooting, split-the-pot raffle, jersey sale, and more.
Following the festivities at Red and Black Night there will be an “Alumni Social” at Grapevine Pizza in Canal Winchester.
To be eligible for the alumni game players must have varsity lettered as a Cruiser during their senior year. Those alumni wishing to participate must contact Grashel at firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 1 and provide their name and graduation year.
“If you are a college athlete, or physically can’t play or don’t want to play, but would like to attend and be recognized please let me know,” said Grashel. “We could make you a coach of a team.”
Grashel said Red and Black Night and the upcoming basketball season will give the community a chance to say goodbye to the current high school gymnasium, which will be demolished along with the rest of the high school to make way for the new high school that will open next fall.
“This old gym is like none other,” said Grashel. “It is hot and loud, the environment is unmatched in Central Ohio. It has been the home for several conference and district titles and we want to make sure we send it out on a high note.”
Grashel is also looking forward to the new high school gym.
“The new gym will be great for our student-athletes because we will have more space to work and develop,” said Grashel. “The design is unique for a high school venue with seating on the sides as well as the baseline along with a center scoreboard. It is going to a special place to play!”