Shooting for a cause: one basket at a time
Third time's a charm for Hoops for Haiti event
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 21:04
While the season is officially over for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the Red Auerbach Arena court was used one final time for basketball.
Hoops for Haiti—in its third year—showcased a dramatic 43-42 overtime victory for the staff team, including Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer, Associate Dean Maggie Balch, and Associate Dean Jamele Adams.
While the outcome was a disappointment for the students, who sought to extend their winning streak over the staff, it did nothing to dampen their spirits. “Remember the words of legendary coach, John Wooden, though: ‘Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character’,” wrote Amanda Dryer ’13, vice president of Hoops for Haiti in an email to the Justice. “Don’t worry – we [the students] will be ready to go next year. “
Following the devastating earthquake of 2010, which left many Haitians homeless and took thousands of lives, a group of Brandeis students banded together to make an impact. Though eyes elsewhere have slowly drifted away from the impact of the tragedy, Hoops for Haiti continues to support Haitians’ efforts toward recovery.
“The earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010 gained the attention of the world, but slowly it has faded away,” according to an excerpt from the Hoops for Haiti mission statement.
“We stand together: through our work, Haiti and its people will not be forgotten. But we can build a foundation for a community that cares about its fellow human beings —a community devoted to researching and solving both the immediate and long-term causes of poverty and injustice in Haiti.”
While staff member Fred George enjoyed playing in the game, he echoed Dryer’s sentiments.
“That game was awesome,” said George, who played for the staff team for the first half before humorously announcing the second half. “When the earthquakes first happened in Haiti, everyone wanted to donate things, but people slowly forgot about it. There are still a lot of people suffering there. If this is my part that I can do to help out, then I’m happy to.”
Though the student lineup featured a star-studded cast, including varsity basketball players Vytas Kriskus ’12, Youri Dascy ’12, Ben Bartoldus ’14 and Derek Retos ’14, the staff boasted a strong team as well. While some would have given the students the edge given their youth, the staff ultimately took a 22-21 lead into the end of the first half.
The second half proved to be more of the same. After the staff established a late five-point lead, the students clawed their way back to tie the game up with little time left. Despite a strong effort at the buzzer, the staff could not win the game in regulation. It took an overtime period to decide this battle.
Adams would ultimately seal the game for the staff. With seconds remaining in overtime and the score still deadlocked at 42, Adams was fouled and awarded two free throws. Though he missed the first one, Adams left no doubt with his second, clinching the win for the staff team.
Dryer was extremely pleased with the turnout, stating that the enthusiasm and money raised for the event reflected the central purpose of the Hoops for Haiti event.
“It contributes to the Brandeis community at-large because it brings the staff and students together for an important cause,” she wrote. “PJ Dickson from [the Department of] Academic Services, Cary Weir Lytle ’98 from Hiatt [Career Center], and Stephanie Grimes from [the Department of] Student Activities understand that this event brings “unity”. They have been exceptionally helpful in helping [BHI President]Jon [Ostrowsky ’13] and myself keep this event going.”
While she was very satisfied with the reception for the event, Dryer encourages those who are interested to join the Brandeis Haiti Initiative to contribute to enjoyable events such as Hoops for Haiti that can make a lasting impact for those in need.