Bas­ket­ball

Starkville Daily News - - ATHLETICS -

World-renowned iLu­mi­nate will be the fea­tured guest at Fri­day’s fam­ily friendly Ma­roon Mad­ness, slated to be­gin at 8:30 p.m. at Humphrey Coli­seum. Ad­mis­sion is free.

This group, which com­bines state-of- the-art tech­nol­ogy with elec­tri­fy­ing en­ter­tain­ers who per­form in the dark to cre­ate the ul­ti­mate per­form­ing arts ex­pe­ri­ence and geared to­ward all game groups, will be the opening act be­fore the men’s and women’s bas­ket­ball teams take cen­ter stage.

The night’s fes­tiv­i­ties will also in­clude a dunk con­test, a 3-point con­test and an all-star style hot shot com­pe­ti­tion. The women, fresh off their national cham­pi­onship game ap­pear­ance and upset of top-ranked UConn, will also con­duct a 5-minute, 4-on-4 scrim­mage.

Doors will open at 7:30 p.m., with stan­dard game-day se­cu­rity pro­to­col to be im­ple­mented, com­plete with metal de­tec­tors. All fans will en­ter through the Mize Pav­il­ion doors and must be seated by 8:25 p.m. in or­der to watch the iLu­mi­nate per­for­mance.

The first 500 fans in at­ten­dance will also re­ceive a free Ma­roon Mad­ness T-Shirt.

iLu­mi­nate was founded in 2009 and has been fea­tured on hit prime­time tele­vi­sion shows “Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent” (fin­ish­ing third over­all), “Danc­ing with the Stars” and “X Fac­tor.” Their patented tech­nol­ogy has been used in nu­mer­ous per­for­mances by Grammy-win­ning su­per­stars, in­clud­ing Chris Brown, Christina Aguil­era, The Black Eyed Peas and David Guetta.

Foot­ball

Joe For­tu­nato, 1951 first-team All-Amer­i­can and one of the great­est play­ers in Chicago Bears his­tory, will be in­ducted into the Mis­sis­sippi State foot­ball “Ring of Honor” dur­ing a cer­e­mony prior to the Bull­dogs’ game against BYU on Saturday in Davis Wade Sta­dium.

For­tu­nato will be­come the sev­enth MSU leg­end en­shrined in the “Ring of Honor,” join­ing Johnie Cooks, Jack Cris­til, Kent Hull, D.D. Lewis, Tom “Shorty” McWil­liams and Jackie Parker.

“We are hon­ored to welcome Joe For­tu­nato to this pres­ti­gious group of Bull­dogs,” MSU Direc­tor of Athletics John Co­hen said. “Joe was one of our ear­li­est Al­lAmer­i­cans and played in more NFL Pro Bowls than any player in school his­tory.”

For­tu­nato, a na­tive of Mingo Junction, Ohio, let­tered as a full­back and line­backer at State from 1950-52. He be­came one of the first Bull­dogs to rush for over 1,000 yards in a ca­reer, scor­ing six touch­downs and reg­is­ter­ing four in­ter­cep­tions.

As a ju­nior in 1951, For­tu­nato was se­lected first-team All-Amer­i­can and first-team All-South­east­ern Con­fer­ence. The fol­low­ing sea­son, he was se­lected hon­or­able men­tion All-Amer­i­can and All-SEC after lead­ing MSU with 779 rush­ing yards and ce­ment­ing him­self as one of the na­tion’s top lineback­ers.

In 1952, the Chicago Bears se­lected For­tu­nato in the NFL Draft. After serv­ing in the mil­i­tary, For­tu­nato es­tab­lished him­self as one of the elite play­ers in Bears his­tory. From 1955-66, he played in 155 games, record­ing 16 in­ter­cep­tions and 22 fum­ble re­cov­er­ies. A team cap­tain, For­tu­nato started for 12 straight sea­sons and was a cat­a­lyst for the Bears’ 1963 NFL cham­pi­onship.

For­tu­nato was a three-time first-team All-Pro selec­tion (1963, ’64, ’65), and he played in five NFL Pro Bowls (1958, ’62, ’63, ’64, 65). To this date, no player in MSU his­tory has played in more Pro Bowls than For­tu­nato. The high­light of his ca­reer might have come in 1963. Just months after guid­ing the Bears to a 14-10 vic­tory over the New York Gi­ants in the 1963 NFL Cham­pi­onship

Photo) (Sub­mit­ted

Joe For­tu­nato will be in­ducted into the Mis­sis­sippi State foot­ball “Ring of Honor” on Saturday in Davis Wade Sta­dium.

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