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