BY: BRAULIS PIMENTEL
The first annual Morgan Square Madness kicked off last week on October 6th, 2022. With the 2022-2023 basketball season approaching, the event gathered friends, family, citizens, and students, to be introduced to USC Upstate’s very own athletes.
A half court was installed for the very first time at Morgan Square that allowed both Upstate men’s and women’s basketball teams to compete in three-point contests, slam dunk, lay-up musical chairs, and much more.
The event was created from an inspiration that had been seen earlier this year at the Marshall Tucker Band concert near Morgan Square on June 7th. Soon after that, faculty members collaborated for the following six weeks to explore an outdoor basketball kickoff event in or near the square.
“Members of the University team led by Charlianne Nestlen, Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Bailey White, Athletics Director of Marketing and Fan Experience, and myself poured through notes on other similar events hosted by Ole Miss, Auburn, South Carolina, and Louisville,” Lenny Mathis, Senior Associate A. D. of External Operations said.
It was also during those searches that they designed and procured the basketball court and created the event’s name and logo with the assistance from Arrowhead Design Group.
Members of the City of Spartanburg and Upstate Athletics staff were confident in their decision to host the event within the actual square rather than the intersection of Church and Main Street for large gathering purposes and the overall success of the event.
“That decision turned out to be maybe one of the most important to the event’s success,” Mathis said.
The first annual Morgan Square Madness satisfied many in the Upstate Community and will be returning next year.
“Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from sponsors, our basketball teams, Upstate students, fans and the City of Spartanburg, Morgan Square Madness will return next October,” Mathis said.
Chancellor Dr. Bennie Harris and Director of Athletics and Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics, Daniel Feig greeting the Upstate community at entrance.