Tag Archives: basketball

NJCAA Tournament Returns to Campus After 19-Year Hiatus

By Kyle BarrHPIM0696

Every person on every bleacher stands up to the sound of the buzzer, their arms raised and their mouths open as a chorus of shouts erupts from all sides of the court. The ball goes up and the clock hits zero. It bounces off the rim, spirits drop and then quickly raise again, the balls lands through the basket.

There are shouts of joy and of awe, and then to only be replaced by confusion. The ball had bounced off the rim and struck the pipes holding the basket, the shot did not count. As the dust settled, several players of the Suffolk team, angry at what they saw as a hard played game with some technical details not going in their favor, left the court without shaking hands. Nassau Community College won against Suffolk 55 to 54.

The Brookhaven Gymnasium became home to both Men’s and Women’s teams from as close as Nassau County Community College to as far away as Sullivan County Community College all the way up in Loch Sheldrake, NY. All came to participate in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Basketball tournament that took place over the three-day period from Fri, Feb. 28 to Sun, Mar. 2.

Suffolk’s Sharks teams gave good performances, but were ultimately beaten out with the Men’s team falling to Nassau with an extremely close game in the semi-finals and the Women’s team loosing to Sullivan 62 to 46.

“(The Men’s Team) lost a tough tough game. It lead to a heavy heart,” Interim College Director of Athletics and Women’s Basketball coach Kevin Foley said about the loss that Men’s Sharks took on Saturday.

Head Men’s Basketball Coach Victor Correa was running up and down the stairs after the loss, dealing with both the players and people wishing to speak to him on the court. “I feel bad for the kids,” he said. “It’s a tough way to loose the semi-finals. We didn’t get the calls, but that happens. We still played hard.”

On the Women’s side, he believed that Suffolk’s teams did well, they were simply beaten by a more effective team, “The kids handled it with class,” he said. “Sullivan Community College had 17 to 5 in the region. Their depth and talent level took over.”

“When you go to an event like this, the victories become sweeter and the losses get magnified.” Coach Foley said. He tries to convey to the students how proud he was of them to get as far as they did.

It was the first time Suffolk has hosted the event since 1995. Since that point, the event had expanded in just about every way.

For all three days of back to back games, the Radio and Television department (RTV) was covering it all on six large cameras including four  used for replay.

Assistant Academic Chair and Professor of Radio and Television Production Al Bernstein related just how expansive the RTV’s coverage of the event was as compared to 1995, “Back then, we had set up a temporary control room in the gym, and had recorded the 5 games delayed on tape. They were aired on Cablevision 9.” In the latest tournament, all content was streamed on Sharks TV, accessible from the Suffolk homepage. Almost all crew who worked on the coverage of the game were students, taking it in shifts to work the massive cameras and recording equipment. The live broadcast opened each day with a welcoming message from President Shaun Mckkay and a background piece of the teams playing, and during time-outs and between games a highlights reel was shown. “We are treating it as the real thing.” Bernstein said.

“It brought the sports department into the 21st century,” Coach Foley said, relating not only to all the production that was done by the RTV department, but also all the advertising done by Director of Communications Drew Biondo, advertising on the most popular social network sites. “We produced a first rate tournament, and I feel proud,” he said.

Athletes Train for Better Life


Entrance hall at The Brookhaven Gymnasium, showcasing trophies from past and present victories.

By Ariel Ransom

Inside the walls of the Brookhaven Gymnasium, campus athletes gather in brightly lit training areas, sprint to locker rooms carrying bags of training gear, and converse in groups about the future games of the season.

However, the main goal that campus athletes focus on as they enter the Brookhaven Gymnasium is the intensity of their respective rigorous training sessions. The physical discipline that athletic players undergo aid not only in achieving winning goals or broken records, but a mentality that promotes a healthier lifestyle.

“Kids who participate in teams have to be in good physical condition.” Kevin Foley, the Interim College Director of Athletics and Master of Science in Public Health, said. “It [sports teams] depends on the focus, but Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball, and Track need players in good physical condition.”

Foley clarifies that even though exercise for sports on campus varies between the physical conditioning and activity involved, that working on the essential areas of the cardiovascular system, agility, and strength of players is crucial.

“A lot [of training exercises] are running slow and fast in bursts, and a lot of stretching. Some [athletes] do weights for strength, push-ups, or sit-ups.” Foley said. “Baseball and Basketball players do Latters, which is good for agility and balance. Pitchers focus on their legs and upper body, while basketball player focus on strength and power.”

The intensity of training becomes second nature to sports players, as their bodies begin to adapt to the physical challenges of exercising. However, preparing for a competition against challengers in sports demands an extensive warmup.

“I run long distances, it helps with the muscles in my legs.” John Seskus, Men’s Track and Field athlete and Men’s Cross Country player, said. “It [running] increases my stamina over time.”

In addition to undertaking rigorous warmups before games and diverse training exercises, sports players utilize the weight room in the downstairs section of Brookhaven Gymnasium. The weight room has an artillery of machinery that aids in isolating a desired body section for improvement or an individual can work on every body part with the use of weight machines.

“I go in the weight room. I do legs, running, anything to do with stamina. Core and abs too.” Majestic Temple, soon-to-be Exercise Science Major and Men’s Track and Field player, said.

Even though the weight room is an excellent area for physical training, individuals can workout in the comfort of their home. Some athletes participate in simple exercises that yield dramatic results, and these exercises do not have to be done in the public of the weight rooms.

“I like to do squats, to get my butt up.” Galvin J. Biggs, Men’s Track and Field athlete and Criminal Justice Major, said. “So when I’m running I don’t pull nothing in my butt.”

Through the benefit of extraneous training and participation on athletic teams, jocks have a sense for “living a healthier lifestyle,”. Without the physical activity involved in campus curriculars, some athletes would fall into unhealthy habits.

“If I didn’t run, I’d probably be on the couch eating potato chips.” Temple said. “I love track, I’m mad focused about it.”

Unfortunately, not all athletes are dedicated to living healthier lifestyles. Sports players could be leading a “double life,” filled with poor diet choices, and these choices could go unnoticed by coaches and fellow sports players.

“I can’t be ideal and say every player has a healthy lifestyle, who knows what they’re doing.” Foley said. “But if they’re a high level player, they know eating and being healthy is important.”

The prestigious physical glory of athletes is attainable, and with dedication to a healthier life of exercise and eating, fitness is possible. The Brookhaven Gymnasium is open during college hours to anyone willing to make a healthy change, and athletic teams on campus are eager for new recruits.