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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Matchup: Faculty and staff take down students

Published: April 16, 2010
Section: Sports

Thursday’s Hoops for Haiti game was one for the ages.  With Prof. Jacob Cohen (AMST) coaching the faculty and staff team to a 37 to 31 victory over the students, it was red shirts versus blue shirts as the stars of the Brandeis community displayed their talent, in all of its forms.

The vocal leader of the faculty and staff team, Dean of Student Life Jamele Adams, made himself the star of the game early in the first half.  Adams faked an injury as he fell down on the court, requiring Cohen to help him off the court.  For much of the game, until the middle of the second half, Adams participated by playfully taunting Terrell Hollins and other students over his portable microphone.

Yet as entertaining as Adams and other players on both teams were throughout the evening, this game was about far more than just basketball.  The event, organized by Nate Rosenblum ’10 and Michelle Stoisits ’11 was part of The Brandeis Haiti Relief Effort’s (BHRE) semester long project to raise money for victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake that struck Haiti.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by all the support from the Brandeis community,” Stoistis said.

All proceeds from Hoops for Haiti and other BHRE events are being donated to Partners in Health, Hope for Haiti and Empowering Through Education (ETE) camp, a camp that Shaina Gilbert ’10 began last summer for children in Haiti.

Rosenblum reminded the audience that although their support for the people of Haiti was great, “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

It was more than just the players who contributed to last night’s game. University President Jehuda Reinharz shot the ceremonial first basket and later drew raffle ticket winners during the first half.  Senior Vice President of Communications and External Affairs Andrew Gully also drew raffle tickets later in the evening. During the raffle, participants won Red Sox tickets and Hoops for Haiti T-shirts and gift certificates to restaurants. Adagio, Brandeis’ student run dance group, and the Brandeis cheerleading team also performed at halftime.

After the halftime festivities, there was still plenty of basketball to be played.

The faculty and staff team went into the half with a 13 to 9 lead and the students, despite intensity from Student Union President Andy Hogan ’11 and President-elect Daniel Acheampong ’11, couldn’t recover.  Former President Jason Gray also tried to stop the star of the faculty and staff team, Eric McKoy.

Other key players on the faculty team included Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer, Director of Community Service Lucas Malo, Senior Academic Advisor P.J. Dickson, Director of Athletics Sheryl Sousa and Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy.

Theresa Sheehan ’11 was a crowd favorite for the students with several students in the first row wearing signs with her name on them. Shirel Guez ’12 also contributed to the action on the court.

Adams continued to heckle the students throughout the game, but at points it appeared to bother Hollins as he missed some jump shots, mostly likely due to his deliberately moderate, rather than usual game like intensity.

Hogan never seemed to be distracted.  Instead, he was focused on grabbing as many steals as he could and scrambling for rebounds.

Gilbert was the announcer and she tried to respond to Adams comments, but at times his humor was just too much.  His play though, was not at the same level.

McKoy, an assistant coach of the men’s basketball team, appeared calm and focused throughout, focusing on the basketball rather than the jokes.

In the end, it was a unique display of athleticism, humor and community service.  Proceeds from Hoops for Haiti will help contribute to BHRE’s goal of raising $25,000.

The final event of the semester, A Night for Haiti, a charity benefit and silent auction, will take place on Saturday May 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Levin Ballroom.  The semiformal reception will include trustees, alumni, faculty, staff and students.  Invitations will be sent out durring the next few days and tickets can be purchased at the Brandeis Ticket Office.  Student tickets are $10 in advance and tickets for all adults are $25.

All those who participated in Thursday’s game enjoyed the action.  Maybe the students will hope for some revenge on the court next year.  Either way, last night’s game was a success–for the players, the community and Haiti.

As Sawyer said in an e-mail sent to students on Wednesday, regardless of his prediction that his team would win, “we will look to acknowledge the real winners–the students who have organized this great event.”

Job well done.