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Three SUNY Teams Headed to March Madness

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SUNY NCAA basketball tournament champions from Albany and Buffalo.

For the first time ever, The State University of New York is sending three basketball teams to the NCAA Tournament, or March Madness. For the third year in a row, the University at Albany Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams are both slated to compete in the fierce bracket-style contest that takes place across the United States in March and April. They will be joined by the University at Buffalo Men’s basketball team who are off to the tournament for the first time in school history.

In 2014, the University at Albany sent both the Women’s and the Men’s Teams to their respective tournaments. The Men came out firing and won their first NCAA tournament game in school history. This year, SUNY is yet again thrust into the national spotlight when the competition begins this week.

Great Danes dance again

The Men’s Basketball Team, headed by Coach Will Brown, punched their third consecutive ticket with a 51-50 victory over Stony Brook University at SEFCU Arena in the America East championship game. Senior forward Sam Rowley led the Danes with 14 points and 7 rebounds.

The Seawolves, led by 2014 and 2015 American East Player of the Year, Junior Forward Jameel Warney, took the lead with 2:24 left in the first half and held on tight, dominating most of the second half. With seconds ticking down in the game, Albany dribbled down the court down two. Ray Sanders drove hard to the basket but was unable to connect, when players from both the Great Danes and the Seawolves fought for the rebound that was eventually tipped back into the hands of Junior guard Peter Hooley. With less than 2 seconds on the clock, Hooley released the ball and drained the game winning three-pointer. The shot landed Hooley and the Great Danes into the NCAA Tournament, and into the media spotlight, including ESPN’s top 10 plays.

Hooley, a junior guard from Australia, missed a chunk of the season to be with his family as his mother was dying of colon cancer. Hooley’s mother, Sue, died Jan. 30 and Hooley missed eight games during the season, spending as much precious time with her as her illness would allow. There was never any doubt that he’d come back to play, though. “I made a promise to mum that I was going to come back [to America] and play,” Hooley told Yahoo’s Pat Forde. “She got so much joy out of watching me play.”

“When you have angels watching you, anything can happen,” Hooley told ESPN. “… This is special to me, it’s the best moment of my life. After everything I’ve been though, this is for my family, for mom especially.”

“I know Mom was with me every step of the way,” Hooley said. “She probably put that ball in the basket better than I did. So … I’m speechless. Speechless.”

The Danes earned a #14 seed in this year’s tournament and will take on #3 Oklahoma Friday March 20th in Columbus, Ohio.

The Women’s Basketball Team, headed by Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, is celebrating its fourth straight America East title, each granting them a spot in the NCAA Tournament. This year the team defeated Hartford by a score of 84-75. Led by Shereesha Richards, who became Albany’s all time leading scorer during the tournament, the Great Danes became the first team to earn four-consecutive America East titles since Maine did in the mid-90s. After playing a tight game against the West Virginia University in last year’s NCAA Tournament, the Great Danes will be looking to make some noise in this year’s competition as well.

Bulls enter into postseason spotlight

The University at Buffalo earned their first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament receiving the Mid-American Conference Champions automatic bid following an 89-84 win over top-seeded Central Michigan on Saturday.

The Bulls are led by Coach Bobby Hurley. Coach Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke on one of the best college basketball teams of all time. Along with Western New York native Christian Laettner, Hurley led the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Following his outstanding career at Duke, Hurley went on to play five years in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

On their way to the NCAA bid, the Bulls were led by tournament Most Valuable Player Xavier Ford who scored 18 points and MAC Player of the Year Justin Moss, who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the championship game.

In their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, the Bulls earned a #12 seed and will take on the #5 seed West Virginia. Since 2001, a #12 seed has advanced to the round of 32 every year except for 2007. More recently, in both the 2013 and 2014 tournaments, three #12 seeds have advanced to the Round of 32. It’s time for SUNY to add a little madness into the month of March.

SUNY has more than 85 NCAA Division I, 290 NCAA Division III, and 385 NJCAA athletics teams, as well as hundreds of non-competitive athletics clubs. Two of these public universities representing New York State is, once again, further credence that quality education complimented by our students’ skillful athleticism is perfectly fitted for the Empire State.

Glenn Solomon

Written by Glenn Solomon

Glenn is a student assistant in the Office of New Media of the State University of New York. He is an undergraduate economics and political science major at the University at Albany in Albany, NY.

March 16, 2015

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Athletics

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

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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

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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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Athletics

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

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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: www.crazyguyonabike.com/sistahbikers.

 

SUNY Oneonta

May 28, 2013

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