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SUNY Athlete Could Be First to Play in NBA Since 1972*



Cleanthony Early Draft

*This article has been updated–see below.

A former SUNY student athlete has been drafted to the NBA and could be the first to play since 1972. Cleanthony Early was selected in the second round 2014 NBA draft by the New York Knicks this week.

After transferring from upstate New York college SUNY Sullivan to Wichita State, Early ultimately became the 42nd Shocker to reach 1,000 points for his career with 1,135 points in just two seasons. This past year, he scored double-digits in more than 90% of his games played and scored a career-high of 31 points against Kentucky in the third-round NCAA game, nearly double his 16.4 points per game average.

His time at SUNY Sullivan prepared him perfectly for Wichita State. Early was a two-time NJCAA National Player of the Year, as well as a two-time 1st team all-American. He scored 1572 points in two seasons at the College, becoming the all-time points leader for the storied program that has won an unprecedented 4 NJCAA National Men’s Basketball Championships since 1992.

He had over 150 full scholarship offers to play at the NCAA DI level ultimately choosing Wichita State.

Cleanthony Early basketball SUNYBy being drafted in the second round, the Knicks have rights to Early for one full year and it may be determined that he is on the roster as soon as August.

But his performance this past season, analysts believe, positions him as a likely player to excel in the NBA Summer League, which ultimately determines that roster status. Scouts point to the star’s “clean movements, good quickness and explosive vertical bounce” as assets that will help him reach that level.

Early’s achievements are a rarity for SUNY athletics.

In 1972, a College at Brockport player was drafted by The Buffalo Braves (now the LA Clippers.) In 2013, former SUNY College at Old Westbury men’s basketball player Lester Prosper was selected in the sixth round of the NBA Development League by the Maine Red Claws. The same year, Farmingdale State College alumnus AJ Matthews was signed by the New York Knicks, but ultimately did not make the roster.

However, the tide may be turning. Just this spring:

 5 athletes were drafted to Major League Baseball
 Lacrosse standout Lyle Thompson is a candidate for the Best Male College Athlete ESPY Award
 Former University at Buffalo football talent Khalil Mack was a first-round draft pick to the National Football League


UPDATE: He wouldn’t be the first since 1972.  Samuel Pellom of the University at Buffalo Class of 1978 played for the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks, both NBA teams. In addition, SUNY Buffalo State’s Randy Smith played in the NBA for 12 years, ending in 1982. But the 80’s is still a really long time ago for some of us.


Top photo via axs

Steven Molinari

Written by Steven Molinari

Steven was a student assistant in the Office of Communications of the State University of New York in summer 2014. He is an undergraduate political science student at Binghamton University.

July 1, 2014

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Mascot Madness Champion, Hugo the Hawk, Speaks on His Victory and Getting Back to Work




SUNY Mascot Madness winner - Hugo Hawk from New PaltzThe first ever SUNY Mascot Madness came to a close yesterday with over 300,000 votes cast over the entire competition.  In a race that was too close to call initially, Hugo the Hawk from New Paltz was declared the winner of the first SUNY Mascot Madness over Wolfie the Seawolf from Stony Brook.  In a race to the finish, he met the library dean, cleaned the campus, and hung out with many students on campus.

We were able to catch up with Hugo and get his thoughts on the final round of the competition.

What responsibilities do you carry as SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion?  What’s next for you?

As the SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion, it is my duty to represent all that this title stands for. I will continue being the best mascot I can possibly be and keep getting better at it each day.

What will you do with all of your free time once SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 is complete?

With this free time I will get back to the basics. I will work on my cheers and dances and keep myself in tip-top shape for all the teams I root for. I will work hard to earn my place in next year’s tournament and make sure I do my best to defend my crown.


And we look forward to next year’s competition with you Hugo!

Hugo Hawk with Mascot Madness championship trophy

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

April 5, 2013

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Bobby Hurley Named University at Buffalo Men’s Basketball Head Coach




Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley, one of the most iconic figures in college basketball history, has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

He joins UB from the University of Rhode Island, where he has been serving as associate head coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at Wagner College in 2010, and spent two seasons with the Seahawks, playing a critical role in rebuilding the men’s basketball team. He helped lead Wagner to a 25-6 record during the 2011-12 season – its best record in school history – before joining Rhode Island.

A first-team All-American in 1993, Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke. Hurley helped lead the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Hurley still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 1,076.

Following his outstanding career at Duke, Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He went on to play five years in the NBA with the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

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SUNY Oneonta Senior Sets Off on 4,200-Mile Cross-Country Bike Adventure




Jayme Haynes biking in Central Bridge on her cross country adventure

Jami Haynes sets off from her home in Central Bridge, NY, on Tuesday, May 28.

SUNY Oneonta senior Jami Haynes set off on a 4,200-mile, cross-country bike adventure today with the goal of raising awareness about the Harvest of Hope Foundation, an organization that provides emergency assistance to migrant workers and their families. Haynes, 21, accompanied by her boyfriend and sister, left early Tuesday morning from her home in Central Bridge, N.Y.

An avid runner and hiker, Haynes got the idea for the “Miles for Migrants” bike tour after Harvest of Hope founder and President Phil Kellerman visited one of her education classes, taught by Madeline Berry, this past semester. Her 20-year-old sister, Jena, signed on for the adventure, and then her boyfriend, Caleb Grippin, 23, joined the team.

Jena Haynes, Caleb Grippin, Jami Haynes with bikes

SUNY Oneonta student Jami Haynes (right) with her sister, Jena, and boyfriend, Caleb Grippin.

“I wasn’t very familiar with what a migrant farm worker was and how they contributed to American society, and I was especially touched as a future educator by the support that Harvest of Hope gives to these families and the scholarships that the foundation provides,” Haynes said.

The class did a service-learning project to benefit Harvest of Hope, and Haynes kept the momentum going. She and her sister organized a spaghetti supper, several bake sales and a raffle, as well as giving presentations about Harvest of Hope on campus and in the community. “Spreading awareness of the foundation and how it helps migrant farm workers has been extremely rewarding,” Haynes said. “The community definitely knows a lot more about the contributions of migrant workers because of this project.”

Haynes hopes to continue raising awareness by meeting with media outlets during her journey. The trio plans to ride about 60 to 80 miles per day, camping and staying with friends and family members en route to San Francisco. They have been training for the trip for about three months, logging several hundred miles of short and long rides.

The Harvest of Hope Foundation was established in 1997, when Kellerman worked at ESCORT, a migrant education resource center based at SUNY Oneonta. In addition to its affiliation with ESCORT, SUNY Oneonta has operated a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) since 2001. Created in 1972, CAMP is a federally-funded scholarship program that helps students from migrant and seasonal farm-working families pursue higher education.

ESCORT senior programmer analyst Bob Thomas, a friend of Kellerman’s, loaned Haynes and her crew three touring bikes and trailers. Thomas, who completed a cross-country bicycling trip himself back in 1976, was on hand for the send-off Tuesday, offering last-minute tips and advice.

An elementary education major with a concentration in social studies, Haynes will share experiences from her trip this fall as a student teacher at Cobleskill Elementary School.

She will also chronicle her adventures throughout the 11-week journey on the blog:


SUNY Oneonta

May 28, 2013

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