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Wizards' training camp move to Patriot Center will include "Madness"

When John Wall was introduced to adoring fans during Midnight Madness festivities before his freshman year at Kentucky, he broke out his infamous, tea-kettle inspired dance and started a sensation. What will he have in store when he makes his Wizards' debut when the team holds its own Midnight Madness festivities on Sept. 28?

That's right. An NCAA tradition is coming to the NBA.

The Wizards' plans to move training camp to George Mason's Patriot Center after spending the past six seasons in Richmond have been known for some time, with new owner Ted Leonsis expressing a desire to be closer to his fanbase.

They made those plans official on Thursday but also announced that much more change is in store as the Wizards take a different, more interactive approach to training camp, with a midnight practice on Sept. 28. The event will be open to the public and feature player introductions, an open practice, giveaways and ticket offers for regular season games. The team will also offer special incentives for George Mason students. Doors open at 11 p.m. on Sept. 27.

The Wizards will train at Patriot Center through Oct. 3, when it will have a FanFest and open scrimmage that tips off at 12:30 p.m. The open scrimmage and Midnight Madness event will be open to the public and free of charge.

"Our relationship with George Mason University and the Patriot Center allows us to conduct a locally based training camp at an outstanding facility located in the greater D.C. area," Wizards Executive Vice President of Business Operations Greg Bibb said in a statement released by the team on Thursday. "We're thrilled that our fans will be able to take part in the official start of the season and we're looking forward to the opportunity to reach out to potential new fans in Northern Virginia."

Wizards season ticket holders will also have a chance to meet Wall and his fellow rookies during a "Rookie Class" event following the evening practice on Sept. 29. And select business leaders will be invited to meet with the Wizards staff and a few players during a "Business-to-Business Breakfast." The Wizards also have plans to reach out to the people of Northern Virginia by inviting families involved in Shelter House, Inc., to participate in the FanFest.

When asked if he had anything special planned for his next Midnight Madness introduction, Wall replied in a text message, "Haha, naw I don't man."

By Michael Lee  |  September 9, 2010; 6:21 PM ET
Categories:  John Wall  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards season schedule breakdown: Part VI
Next: When will John Wall get his shot?


Change the teams name 1rst, bring back the Bullets

Posted by: MrWillie | September 9, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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