Tag Archives: St. John’s University

St. John’s University President Father Donald J. Harrington stepping down


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

St. John’s University’s long-time president will resign this summer, according to an internal memo to the school.

Father Donald J. Harrington said in a letter to the school’s community that he plans on retiring effective July 31.

Harrington, who took over at St. John’s in 1989, has been wrapped up in a series of investigations by both federal authorities and the board of trustees. He was alleged in federal complaints to have received lavish gifts from the late Cecilia Chang, a former St. John’s dean who charged with stealing money from the school.

He only makes slight mention of the probes during the last year.

“Nonetheless, for quite a while, I have been thinking about when would be the best time to relinquish the leadership role to younger, perhaps more energetic, individuals,” he writes. “The urgings of many members of the Board of Trustees and others persuaded me to remain longer than I had originally planned.  But the difficulties for everyone during the past year have convinced me, after much prayer and reflection, that the time to leave the presidency has now come.”

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, who graduated from St. John’s Law School, issued a statement commending Harrington for his nearly 24 years of service to the school.

“Over the last quarter of a century,” he said, “Farther Harrington transformed St. John’s from a really good university to a great one. As an alumnus of its law school, I’ve witnessed with pride as Father Harrington strengthened St. John’s  academically and physically with new facilities and buildings, while holding fast to the Vincentian mission that has drawn so many of the University’s alumni to public service.”

Peter D’Angelo, the school’s board of trustees chair, issued a statement to the University in which he cited the school’s growth under Harrington’s two-decade management.

“The tenure of Father Harrington as president has been a period of unrivaled growth, expansion and achievement for our University,” he said. “He has been a transformative leader who guided this institution, nurtured its community, cultivated excellence and generated unprecedented levels of enthusiasm and support. At the same time, the University he departs has remained dedicated to service and education, prime components of our mission since St. John’s was founded 143 years ago.”

 

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Boston Marathon bombing has races rethinking security


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Now that surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev has been captured and charged with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, some of the motivations behind the attack are becoming clearer.

Other questions about security and how to prevent future attacks at similar events are under heated debate.

“Thinking about the football season starting or baseball, I don’t think [security is] going to change dramatically,” said David Kearn, an assistant professor in government and politics at St. John’s University.

Sporting venues such as Citi Field and the National Tennis Center are contained locations, he added.

“If you have to go through doors, you can have metal detectors, you can have people doing pat downs, you can have different types of devices to make sure that people aren’t bringing in things that you don’t want them bringing in,” Kearn said.

But he added that an event like the Boston Marathon has large areas that are “virtually unprotected.”

Security measure that Kearn said officials could use in areas where people congregate include mandatory check points.

The JFK 5k Runway Run, an annual race at John F. Kennedy International Airport, already uses similar security measures.

Runners and spectators must pass through security in accordance with the airport’s standards, said Rudy Auslander of the JFK Rotary Club, the event’s sponsor.

He said while they do not have to remove their shoes, all entrants are screened. Buses take runners out to the runway, and spectators are kept in an area near the line where the race both starts and finishes.

Other races in the city are designed differently, with spectators throughout the route, making similar security measures difficult.

The New York Road Runners (NYRR), who organize races including the ING NYC Marathon throughout the year, implemented enhanced baggage security following the Boston attack.

Runners who want to check their bags at one of the races must place them in a clear plastic bag and leave them in a designated zone that participants cannot enter. NYRR also has the right to search any bag in or outside the baggage area at any time, and an unattended bag can be confiscated.

“The safety and security of all New York Road Runners’ races is and will always be our top priority,” the group said in a statement. “A number of significant measures have been put in place in recent years, and we will work closely with the NYPD over the coming days and weeks to further evaluate security at races. We will continue to work hand in hand with the City of New York and the NYPD as we plan for all upcoming events.”

Kearn said these security measures would “draw more resources and more man power. You might be able to have volunteers do some of that stuff in terms of just checking bags, but you will have to have more folks checking and looking around in the future.”

 

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St. John’s in talks with Peter King petitioners


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Students are in talks with administration after a petition to replace Congressmember Peter King as St. John’s University’s commencement speaker surpassed 1,000 signatures, The Courier has learned.

An online protest against the Long Island representative hit headlines last week, when students called for the school to dump King as this year’s key note speaker.

“Congressman King has had his say. Now it is our turn to speak,” reads the petition, which was started by senior Jonaki Singh.

Outraged students were against “discriminatory and offensive comments” they said King made throughout his congressional tenure on issues like bilingual education and domestic terrorism.

“At a school with such a diverse student body, the views that Congressman King represent will be contradictory to our experience and who we are striving to become,” the petition says.

Nearly 1,100 former and current students and faculty have signed the petition as of April 22.

The number is now enough for administration to listen to their concerns, sources said.

St. John’s did not comment on the discussions between students.

King said he was proud to be chosen as St. John’s commencement speaker and sad the school had to be “dragged into this fight.”

“Students at St. John’s University are protesting my selection as this year’s commencement speaker. That, of course, is their right even though they are misguided and wrong,” he said in a statement. “But the right of free speech and academic freedom is paramount, and I commend St. John’s University.”

The Johnnies graduate on May 19.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 59. Breezy. Winds from the SE at 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Fog overnight. Low of 54. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Let’s Make a Movie

Starting at 4 p.m., come take part in a film screening and discussion on “Let’s Make a Movie” at the Douglaston Library.  The movie, written, directed and edited by Queens native Elana Mugdan, is the story of a college dropout and former film student who wants to turn her life around by making a movie with friends. The award-winning film was shot mainly in Queens. Mugdan will introduce the film and answer questions afterward. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Innovative bus system could alleviate traffic in Queens

Congestion along a busy Queens roadway could be alleviated with the help of innovative bus service technology. Read more: New York Daily News

NY Senate group removes Malcolm Smith after arrest

A small group of Democratic New York senators who share majority control of the Senate with Republicans has kicked out one of its members who was charged in a federal corruption case. Read more: NBC New York

St. John’s students angry at choice of Rep. Pete King as commencement speaker

The selection of Rep. Peter King as the commencement speaker at St. John’s University in Queens has sparked an uproar among students angry about his history of controversial comments about Muslims. Read more: New York Daily News

9/11 World Trade Center victim identified

New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner has identified the remains of a 55-year-old man who died in the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Read more: Fox New York

Police: Person of interest sought in Brooklyn bomb scare

Police are looking for a man they want to question in connection with a bomb scare in Brooklyn. Read more: CBS New York

President Barack Obama, gun control supporters vow to fight on

President Barack Obama and his gun control allies say Senate rejection of expanded background checks and other restrictions won’t stop their drive to reduce firearms violence. Read more: ABC New York/AP

FBI arrests Mississippi man in ricin letter case

he FBI arrested a Mississippi man on Wednesday in connection with letters sent to President Barack Obama and two other officials that are believed to have contained the deadly poison ricin, the U.S. Justice Department said. Read more: Reuters

Up to 15 dead after fire and blast at Texas fertilizer plant

A fiery explosion tore through a fertilizer plant and leveled dozens of homes in a small Texas town late on Wednesday, killing as many as 15 people, injuring more than 160 others and spewing toxic fumes that forced the evacuation of half the community, authorities said. Read more: Reuters 

St. John’s basketball loses forward Amir Garrett


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File Photo

BY JON PEREZ

St. John’s sophomore Amir Garrett announced his intent to transfer from the men’s basketball program over Twitter on April 2.

“After a long thought process of speaking with my family, I will be leaving the St. John’s Basketball Program,” Garrett said. “It was a well thought-out decision that didn’t just pop out of nowhere. St. John’s will always have a special place in my heart.”

The 6’6” forward said in a release that he intended to transfer to another program, but that he will “always be a Johnny at heart.”

“We appreciate Amir’s contributions to the St. John’s basketball program and wish him well in all of his future endeavors,” head coach Steve Lavin said in a statement. “He played a valuable role in our rebuilding efforts and represented our program well as a student-athlete.”

Garrett averaged 6.4 points per game in 55 games during his two seasons with the Red Storm. He joined the team in December 2011 after being one of three players to be declared academically ineligible at the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year.

This season, Garrett saw his playing time decrease from 26.9 minutes per game to 20.4 as he averaged 5.5 points.
Garrett said over Twitter that he intended to continue to focus on his baseball career. He is currently a top 20 prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization, with whom he signed a deal with a $1 million signing bonus. He can’t collect that bonus until he decides to stop playing NCAA basketball to preserve eligibility.

He began his minor league career last summer, where he made seven appearances and five starts, according to the St. John’s release. He held the opposition to a .255 average before being promoted from the AZL Reds of the rookie-level Arizona league to the Billings Mustangs of the Billings Mustangs. He made two starts there.

The forward’s transfer opens one scholarship spot on a roster that was at its limit of players before the departure. St. John’s is currently pursuing point guard Rysheed Jordan, who is ranked No. 22 on ESPN’s top 100 recruits list. His choices are down to St. John’s, Temple and UCLA and he will make a verbal offer on April 11.

 

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Borough President candidates making the rounds


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BP candidates

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Borough President candidates are blazing through Queens, participating in forums and allowing the community to hear their positions.

The six Democrats hoping to replace current Borough President Helen Marshall most recently gathered at the Hollis Hills Jewish Center in Fresh Meadows and attended the Ridgewood Democratic Club’s monthly meeting.

State Senators Tony Avella and Jose Peralta joined City Councilmembers Peter Vallone Jr. and Leroy Comrie, former Assembly and Councilmember Melinda Katz and former Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik to speak to members of several Democratic clubs across Queens.

In Fresh Meadows, discussion of mayoral control of the Board of Education (BOE) dominated the forum.
Grodenchik said he has mixed feelings towards the issue, but he wants to “bring some measure of control back to the boroughs.”

The controversy surrounding development of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was also heavily debated. Peralta said he in favor of the proposed Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium, but would ensure that the park space used not only has to be replaced, but improved.

“It has to be better,” he said, calling soccer “the sport of the world.”

Despite his support for the stadium, he is opposed to the proposed plans for a shopping mall and an expansion of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) center.

Vallone said that he wanted to eliminate overexpansion in the park and bring it to areas in the borough that are “yearning for that kind of development.”

Avella, however, said he is the only candidate that is steadfastly against all three proposals for development.

All of the candidates will continue to campaign and participate in forums across Queens until election day on

Tuesday, November 5. The next forum will be held at St. John’s University on Friday, April 12.

 

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‘The new’ Big East


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY CRAIG GIAMMONA

If the 2013 Big East tournament was a funeral for what had been one of the nation’s best college basketball conferences, then a Wednesday, March 20 press conference announcing a 12-year television deal between Fox Sports and the new Big East could be called a rebirth.

St. John’s and the other so-called “Catholic 7” universities will be joined by Creighton, Xavier and Butler in the new Big East starting next season and the conference will keep its postseason tournament at Madison Square Garden, officials said.

The Big East will get back to its roots next season after slowly being pulled apart by a flirtation with big-time football. And St. John’s fans are welcoming the change.

Rather than bemoaning the loss of Connecticut and Syracuse, two of the conference’s founding members, longtime St. John’s supporters are anticipating the formation of a hoops-oriented league that harks back to the program’s heyday in the 1980s.

“If you look at the teams that were in the Big East at that time, it was a basketball-centric conference and when people look back at that era, those were the best times,” said Chris Holbrook, 33, a Long Island attorney who grew up rooting for St. John’s and graduated from law school there in 2005.

The Big East started as a basketball conference, but slowly expanded over the years in a drive to be a relevant football league as well. Big East officials acknowledged Wednesday that the push toward football, which they said was undertaken to “accommodate” Syracuse and Boston College, had ultimately led to the demise of the conference.

But St. John’s fans aren’t necessarily disappointed with the results, and they believe the new Big East’s focus on basketball will bring stability to the league.

“It won’t be the same, but I’m looking forward to getting back to basketball,” said Gus Stanzione, a 1981 alumni from Staten Island who was headed into the Garden about an hour before the Red Storm were set to take on Villanova in the Big East tournament. “That’s when the problems started – when they started going after football.”

The 12-year television deal will give the conference a home on Fox Sports, and maintaining a foothold in New York City should help the league build its profile, just as it did when the Big East tournament moved to the Garden in 1983.

“Keeping the Garden is huge,” said Tom Shanahan, a 1987 St. John’s graduate who grew up here but now lives in Indianapolis. “It’s probably more important for those other schools, but it’s big to stay in the city.”

Shanahan and other St. John’s fans said keeping the postseason tournament at the Garden will help schools in the conference continue attracting talented local players, who are often more willing to leave home for college with the promise of returning to the city each year for at least a few games.

The Garden has long been a recruiting tool for St. John’s and fans of the team said the departure of Syracuse, arguably the most popular team in the city, could help the Red Storm once again rise to prominence here in New York.

“I think it could make St. John’s the New York team,” Stanzione said.

Shanahan, who attended St. Francis Preparatory High School in Fresh Meadows, hadn’t been inside the Garden in 15 years and made trip to watch St. John’s.

“Honestly, to get to see St. John’s and the rest of the teams I grew up watching, that’s pretty big for me,” Shanahan said. “That’s going to be a good basketball conference.”

 

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St. John’s women’s basketball team falls short in NCAA tournament


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of St. John's Athletic Communications

BY LIAM LAGUERRE

With the odds were against the St. John’s women’s basketball team this season, they were normally able to overcome.

The season began under a rookie head coach, had a slow start and lost a starter from an early injury, but the Red Storm battled its way into the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight year.

Looking once again to overcome a tough challenge, the 10th seed Red Storm eliminated a 13-point deficit to force overtime against seventh seed University of Dayton with just more than five minutes left in regulation.

But the Red Storm’s season came to an end as the Flyers, lead by sophomore Andrea Hoover’s 24 points and seven rebounds, won in double overtime, 96-90, on March 24, in front of 2,717 fans.

This was the team’s fourth consecutive NCAA elimination, but the first-ever women’s basketball tournament hosted at Carnesecca Arena.

“We could have gave up,” said head coach Joe Tartamella. “I thought our players made great plays, I thought they made important plays to get us back in the game and you know we came up short. That’s what it comes down to.”

In the second overtime the Red Storm ran out of offensive. Dayton’s (28-2) Kelley Austria set the pace for the Flyers by scoring seven points in the final overtime.

St. John’s senior Shenneika Smith, who had 18 points and five rebounds in 50 minutes, didn’t score in the final five. And senior Nadirah McKenith, who narrowly missed a triple-double with 22 points, ten assists and nine rebounds, played 44 minutes, but fouled out in the first overtime.

“We play in a lot, a lot of minutes, and that’s just who we are, there’s no excuse,” Tartamella said. “At that point in the game though and at this point in the season, and for what’s on the line, you can’t be tired.”

The Red Storm (18-13) struggled to keep pace with the Flyers until the final minutes by tightening on defense and chipping away at the Flyer’s double-digit lead.

Down two points with 5.7 seconds left in regulation, McKenith took charge. She dribbled the length of the court and scored a layup around two Dayton defenders at the buzzer to tie the game, 75-75, and force overtime.

The senior guard thought she could see the outcome of the game after that play.

“We knew once we were going in overtime we thought we could beat them, we had to make a push,” McKenith said. “We just went out there and fought. We thought we had the momentum, but we didn’t.”

The game marks the end of McKenith and Smith’s college careers and although the pair has been defeated in four consecutive NCAA appearances, this loss left an even bitter taste.

“We’ll always remember this one,” Smith said. “This one probably hurt more than freshman year, because it’s our last one. At least when we lost when we were freshman we had a couple more years to try and get back.”

But there was a bright spot in freshman guard Ashley Perez, who checked in from the second half, and hit some big shots to help the Johnnies almost complete the upset.

Down by six with 1:05 remaining, McKenith found an open Perez, who hit a three pointer to close the gap to just one possession.  Perez finished with 17 points in 21 minutes, paving the way for the future of the Red Storm.

“It was exciting,” Perez said. “Coach called it yesterday in practice. He said ‘I might hit some big shots today.’ So it was just nice knowing that everyone believed in me.”

 

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St. John’s holds annual Locks of Love fundraiser


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Anthony O’Reilly

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

More than 50 people from St. John’s University participated in the fourth annual St. Baldrick’s and Locks of Love fundraiser to benefit childhood cancer research. The participants included students, administrators and coaches from the school who either shaved their heads in solidarity of those undergoing chemotherapy, or donated 10 inches or more of their hair to make wigs.

The school announced more than $35,000 was raised through fundraising efforts, all of which will go to benefit cancer research companies. The school also announced that 22 locks of hair were collected.

During the event, the school honored five-year old cancer survivor Gabrielle Brancaccio, who now serves as an ambassador for St. Baldrick’s.

“We feel indebted to the doctors that have helped us see through, but also, we feel so humbled by being honored by St. John’s because people are taking the time to care about others who have gone through this,” Dana Brancaccio, Gabrielle’s mother, said.

Lacrosse coach Jason Miller helped raise well past his $5,000 goal.

 

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Players, colleagues react to Molloy Coach Curran’s death


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Those who knew, or played for, long-time Archbishop Molloy High School Coach Jack Curran said he had a lasting touch on the entire school community.

“I’ve talked to alumni who told me, ‘I didn’t play for him, but I always felt like he was my coach,’” said Molloy Athletic Director Mike McCleary, who worked with the storied coach for the last 15 years. “He had a major effect on the entire school, and made it into an extraordinary school.”

Curran died Thursday, March 14 peacefully in his sleep, according to a release from the school. He was 82.

Between coaching Varsity Basketball and Varsity Baseball, Curran touted a combined record of 2,680-960, according to the school. The Catholic High School Athletic Association honored him as Coach of the Year 25 times for baseball and 22 times for basketball. Curran would steer Molloy to 17 baseball CHSAA City Championships and 5 Basketball CHSAA City Championships during his half-century career.

“I think he was the best coach there ever was,” McCleary said of Curran’s life’s work. “But he was an even better person.”

Curran came to Molloy in 1958 after the head basketball coaching position opened up when Lou Carnesecca moved to St. John’s for his own lengthy career. Carnesecca, in a statement from St. John’s, said Curran had an unmatchable record, and way of mentoring young players.

“The individuals that he produced at Molloy form an outstanding group, and he went out of his way to help so many over the years that were not from Molloy,” Carnesecca said. “Jack Curran was a giant of scholastic athletics, and that is an understatement.”

During his 55-year career, Curran helped foster a number of professional baseball and basketball players into illustrious college and major league careers, including current Mets outfielder Mike Baxter, 1972 Team USA Olympic Basketball captain Kevin Joyce and current University of Louisville guard Russ Smith.

Before a pre-season game in Florida on March 14, Baxter was reported to have wiped tears from his eyes when addressing reporters on the loss of his high school coach. That night, an equally mournful Smith put up 28 points as the Cardinals moved a game ahead in the Big East Tournament.

“It was really hard for me to take it all in because a guy like Coach, obviously, he’s old age, but you just wouldn’t think twice of him ever passing,” Smith said after the game. “It was really, really hard for me to like just focus ahead and to just put it all together. I really have no words, but I miss him a lot. I’m going to miss him.”

McCleary said his friend had the ability to work with young players and making them better.

“Where he’s always excelled is being able to relate to the student-athletes to get them to do what needs to be done,” he said.

 

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Archbishop Molloy High School Coach Jack Curran dies


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Jack Curran, a long-time coach at Archbishop Molloy High School, who had more combined wins than any high school in the country, has passed away. He was 82.

Molloy Athletic Director Mike McCleary confirmed to the Daily News that Curran had passed away. McCleary, The News reported, filled in for Curran in the last three weeks of the basketball season after he broke his knee cap from a fall last month.

Curran was also undergoing dialysis and recovering from cancer, according to The News.

“Coach taught us all how we should act on and off the court or field,” McCleary said in a statement on the school’s website. “Not being around such a great man is going to be difficult for all of us. Coach will be sorely missed.”

Between coaching Varsity Basketball and Varsity Baseball, Curran touted a combined record of 2,680-960, according to the school.

His career at Molloy started in 1958, when then-head basketball coach Lou Carnesecca left Molloy to coach at St. John’s.

“He’s won everything except World War III,” Carnesecca told The New York Times in 2008. “No one in the country has Jack’s record in both sports, no one. And along the way, he has become more than just a great coach, he has become one of the greatest treasures of New York City.”

Curran studied at St. John’s University where he was a pitcher, and captained the then-Red Men during his senior year. A Bronx native, he graduated from All Hallows High School in 1948.

 

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Star of Queens: Lauren Laurelli, student volunteer


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

star

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Lauren Laurelli did not spend her spring break partying like some college students. She spent her vacation in Guatemala, helping improve the quality of life for those less fortunate. Laurelli went with a group from St. John’s University to the village of San Lucas, a faith-based community with their church in the center of their everyday life.

“We did a variety of activities based on what the town and mission needed,” Laurelli said.

Some of these tasks included picking out rocks from the dirt so the natives could lay down turf for a soccer field sorting coffee beans and carrying buckets of rocks out of an abandoned building so they could start building, planting grass and planting trees.

“I really fell in love with the people of the town because from the beginning they were so kind, welcoming and caring,” she said.

BACKGROUND: Laurelli is a senior at St. John’s in the Speech-Language Pathology program. She is originally from Lynbrook, New York.

INSPIRATION: Laurelli says she has been involved with community service for most of her life. “I can remember enjoying doing volunteer work since middle school,” she said. Laurelli said her inspiration to spend her spring break helping out came because the culture of Guatemala was something that fascinated her.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Laurelli said her favorite memory in Guatemala came when she spent a day at one of the native children’s 11th birthday party.

 

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St. John’s basketball player suspended for rest of season, including playoffs


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of The Torch

As they faced a home stretch with three games left in the season, the Big East Tournament and prospects of making the NCAA tournament, shutting down the lead scorer and team captain might not have been expected.

But St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin announced Friday, March 1 he was suspending guard D’Angelo Harrison for the rest of the season and any playoff appearances, citing “conduct detrimental to the team,” according to news sources.

Lavin added the suspension was not from one single issue or incident, but rather a culmination of things over time.

The news came as a surprise to some St. John’s students and fans, but the decision, Lavin said in a statement, would only help Harrison in the long run.

“I had a productive meeting with D’Angelo yesterday,” Lavin said. “He has a bright future in basketball and I’m optimistic his time away from our team will be of value.”

Lavin told reporters that Harrison, who had a breakout premier season last year, had to talk to his parents over the weekend but intended to come back next season and finish his degree at St. John’s.

“He was sincere and had conviction about wanting to finish his career here,” Lavin said. “Even though he’s suspended from the team, you can’t forget the positive contributions he’s made. But again, it’s just a coach’s decision that it’s in his best interest at this juncture to take a time out, get some distance from basketball, and he can earn his way back on to this team by having a good stretch of good behavior, good conduct and all the things that are very basic that we expect at St. John’s.”

The Red Storm will now have to step up in Harrison’s absence as they’ll be without their lead scorer, who averaged 17 points per game. In its game against the Providence Friars the following evening, the game was close but the Johnnies ultimately fell 62-59.

At a pregame press conference, Sir’Dominic Pointer said although the team was saddened by the news, he and his teammates would have to go the extra mile to keep the Johnnies’ momentum in full force.

“I was sad to hear that but we love him to death and we wish him well and we want him to come back soon,” he said. “But we’re in the middle of the season. We’ve got to keep playing. And other people need to step up and take minutes.”

Some students were shocked by the news but are hopeful it doesn’t hurt the team’s chances in the Big East.

“I don’t really know what to say, I was shocked,” said St. John’s sophomore Tyrell Hester. “I don’t understand why they did it. They didn’t really give us a reason, so it doesn’t make much sense to me. It really hurts our chances, especially so close to the tournament.”

Junior Elpido Camilo shared the same sentiment.

“It’s a tough loss and it hurts our chances, but what can you do?” he said. “Hopefully they don’t use it as an excuse.

They need to play with more effort now. They need to step up. It’s a team sport anyway.”

–With additional reporting by Anthony O’Reilly

 

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Star of Queens: Erin Kennedy, Campus Ministry Student Assistant, St. John’s University


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

star of queens

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Erin Kennedy, a student at St. John’s University in Jamaica, has made it her mission to assist the homeless people of New York. As a Campus Ministry Student Assistant at the school, Kennedy runs and assists a program called “Midnight Run” where students from the university prepare meals for the homeless of New York, and then go out to distribute them. Kennedy says as a student assistant she participates in the program once a week.

She said she got involved with the program because she had previously worked with homeless people at her high school and said she found it hard to believe that there were people living in poverty in America.

“It’s crazy that we have people living on the streets in one of the richest countries in the world,” she said.

BACKGROUND: Kennedy, originally from Salisbury, Maryland, is a senior at St. John’s, studying government and politics. She is also the president of the university’s chapter of the College Democrats and during the recent election volunteered to campaign for President Barack Obama.

INSPIRATION: Kennedy said when she was in high school, she volunteered at a homeless shelter and it was there she found out that poverty and homelessness could affect anybody. “It could be any one of us. One bad day can start that whole cycle,” she said. “We are all human. We all need to take care of each other.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Kennedy says the most difficult part of her community service is that she has to overcome some of the stereotypes the public hold about the homeless. “People always say ‘it’s

St. John’s basketball focuses on NCAA Tournament


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Lavin

It was mid-October when guard D’Angelo Harrison sat in the corner of the media workroom at Carnessecca Arena.

The Red Storm had just ceremoniously kicked off its forthcoming season and was less than a month away from its first game, a November 13 matchup against Detroit.

It was the only thing Harrison said he and his teammates were focused on. Not the next five games, or who would be the toughest opponent of the season.

But as the season winds down, the Johnnies are still in the struggle to the NCAA Tournament and have kept that laser focus on each game.

With three games left in the regular season — against Providence, Notre Dame and Marquette — the team faces a tough climb toward the tournament.

“The next game is always important because the past games are in the past, but it’s looking forward: all of our focus is on this Pitt game,” said forward Amir Garrett on the eve of the February 24 matchup against Pitt, which the team ended up losing, 63-47.

Garrett said he didn’t even know his team’s record until the pregame meeting before the team faced off against the University of South Florida about two weeks ago. If he, or any of his teammates, focused on anything outside of that game, they’d lose the finesse that’s helped them to a 16-11 record.

“To be honest I didn’t know what our record was,” said Garrett, who averages about 6 points a game. “We’re just looking forward to playing our next game, and we’re not worried about that. We’re just looking to get wins.”

The sentiments were echoed by teammate Chris Obekpa: “We’re taking it game at a time. Let the future take care of itself – win every game as it comes.”

The fan base has been a supporting component in the Red Storm’s continued push to make the Big Dance, said head coach Steve Lavin. The revived support, he said, continued to grow as the program succeeded in recruiting and retaining a winning record.

“If we’re doing those things, I think the fans come and it’s nice when we have that turn out at Carnesecca or at the Garden,” he said. “Because clearly it’s an advantage to have a good home court where the fans are energized and are pulling for our players because that fuels the momentum of the team that’s moving in the right direction.”

 

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