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NECC Men’s Basketball to Open NJCAA Season with Midnight Madness Tip-Off

Submitted by on September 11, 2023 – 2:34 pm

Haverhill, MA (September 11, 2023) – The Northern Essex Community College men’s basketball team isn’t wasting a second to get the 2023-24 season underway. The defending Region 21 and East District Champion team announced it will play the season’s inaugural game at midnight on Wednesday, November 1st, the first allowable play date for teams in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The Knights will host Bunker Hill Community College in a Region 21 match-up. necc basketball team huddles up during a recent game. players sit and stand surrounding their coach

This will be the program’s first-ever midnight madness event, a tradition in college basketball dating back to 1971, where programs would traditionally kick off their seasons with their inaugural practice and has taken on various forms since.

“There’s a lot of excitement around the coming season and this is going be a great way to kick it off. When presented with the idea, I didn’t hesitate. I think we can pack the stands and create a great atmosphere to tip-off basketball season in the Merrimack Valley,” said head coach Darren Stratton, who will be kicking off his 21st season as head coach.

Stratton and the Knights will release more details about the Midnight Madness event and their full 30-game schedule later this month. The schedule will include a pair of trips to New York along with the Knights hosting the second annual Turkey Classic on Thanksgiving weekend.

The Knights are coming off their most successful season ever, with 33 wins and a fifth-place finish in the 12-team NJCAA National Championship Tournament. Learn more about athletics at Northern Essex by visiting the website.