November 23, 2012
It is mid-November. That can only mean one thing: it’s time for Hofstra’s men’s basketball.
Athletic Director Jack Hayes told me that this is supposed to be a rebuilding year for Hofstra. Gone is their once-in-a-lifetime superstar Charles Jenkins. I can still hear the student body’s haunting chant of “Char – les Jen – kins.” The relentless passage of time has unfortunately altered Hofstra’s comfort zone. Everybody thrilled to Charles’ last-minute heroics as he, time and time again, extricated the team from certain defeat.
But he is now gone. Well, not really, He was in attendance at the season opener this past Friday. (The NBA is still in lockout mode at the time of the submission of this article.) He signed autographs, including one on our grandson’s #22 jersey—the number was retired at the end of last season. I commented at the press conference that senior guard Michael Moore was the heir apparent. Me and my big mouth. I was effectively told: there is no heir to Charles.
Back to the present team. It may indeed be a rebuilding year. But Moore—a terrific player is his own right—and Nathaniel Lester—an excellent underrated small forward—are back. The big question is whether they can make up for the team’s lack of height.
Prior to last Friday’s home opener, Coach Mo Cassera told me they were undefeated. Well, Hofstra beat Long IslandUniversity (who made the NCAA playoffs last season) by 20 points after leading by 30 points late in the game. So Mo, you’re still undefeated.
Mike and Nat? They scored 23 and 33 points, respectively. The Team? They played great, with a level of intensity I haven’t seen in a while.
The team is off to a good start with a 1-0 record at this time. Their next game is this Saturday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. Folks do yourselves a favor and attend one of their games. The enthusiastic support of the Hofstra student body at the games is contagious. For me, attending Hofstra games still remains the best sports buy in the New York Metropolitan area; it’s even cheaper than going to the movies. There is ample free parking, easy access in and out of the Sports Complex, the concession stands are not a rip-off ($3.25 for a dog, $1.40 for a soda, etc.), and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Did I mention that its $5 for seniors and children, and the whole exciting atmosphere is conducive to family attendance? I don’t think this is an exaggeration, but every home game last year turned out to be a thriller. It was raw excitement. Share it with someone you care about. I guarantee you won’t regret it.