Wizards Training Camp Tips Off at Patriot Center

Posted: September 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm, Last Updated: September 27, 2010 at 10:29 am

By Dave Andrews

Fans attending the Washington Wizards training camp events will get a good look at No. 1 overall draft pick and point guard John Wall, shown above during NBA Summer League play. Photo by Rafael Suanes NBAE/Getty Images

The Patriots aren’t the only ones making noise at the Patriot Center this year. Some high-profile guests will be warming up the hardwoods in preparation for the upcoming NBA season.

In previous years, the Washington Wizards kicked off each season with training camp in Richmond, Va. But this year, the Wizards decided to stay closer to home, where the majority of their fans reside.

“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,” said Greg Bibb, executive vice president of business operations for the Wizards, according to a news release.

“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 training camp officially begins at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28. NBA regulations state that teams cannot begin practicing for the 2010-11 season until Sept. 28. The Wizards will be the only NBA team this season to hold a midnight tip-off event.

It may seem like an odd hour to start practicing, but the organization wants to satisfy an anxious fan base that’s been waiting for more than three months to get its first glimpse of the number-one overall draft pick, John Wall, in a Wizards uniform. Doors to the Patriot Center open at 11 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27.

Practice will run from midnight to 1 a.m., during which prizes will be awarded, contests will be held and free food will be served. The first 300 fans to arrive will receive a free chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A. And the first 500 fans to arrive will get a free donut and coffee coupon from Dunkin’ Donuts. After practice, three fans will be selected from the crowd to compete for a $500 cash prize.

(Due to inclement weather, a pep rally originally scheduled before the practice in the Presidents Park student residence complex has been canceled.)

Training camp will conclude with a FanFest and open scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 3, at the Patriot Center. The FanFest will begin at 11 a.m. and will include family entertainment, drills and instruction for young fans. The open scrimmage will tip off at 12:30 p.m.

Both the Midnight Tip-Off and the FanFest will be open to the public and free of charge. For further details, go to the Wizards website.

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