Hoops and Angels

Sept. 25, 2003
Hoops and Angels
By Luke Eggleston/ SUN staff writer
SU’s Gerry McNamara, Mike Hopkins to speak at Guardian Angel Society Luncheon

Parishioners and Syracuse University fans from throughout Central New York will have a chance to relive the Orangemen’s dramatic national championship run at the Fourth Annual Guardian Angel Society Update and Lecture Wednesday, Oct. 15 with SU basketball player Gerry McNamara and assistant coach Mike Hopkins. The event will be held at the Sheraton-Syracuse University and will run from noon to 1:30 p.m.

McNamara and Hopkins will both speak along with Father Joseph Champlin. Tickets for the event are $35 a plate and $325 per table. Reservations must be made before Oct. 6. Tickets can be obtained at the Cathedral Rectory or by calling (315) 422-7218.

Proceeds from the event go to help the Guardian Angel Society pay for tuition assistance for youths attending the Cathedral School as well as upgrades to the school’s computers. Proceeds will also go toward scholarships, which enable underprivileged youths to attend one of the three Catholic schools in the Syracuse area including Christian Brothers Academy, Bishop Ludden, and Bishop Grimes. The Guardian Angel Society was introduced in 1997 and since then it has raised over $1 million and has over 2,000 members. Due to its efforts, each classroom in the Cathedral School is wired for internet access.

In addition to the special speakers, the luncheon will include a highlight reel of the Syracuse University men’s basketball team’s national championship quest. During its historic run, the Orangemen defeated two No. 1 seeds, Texas and Oklahoma, en route to toppling Kansas in the national championship game.

McNamara said that he was not sure what he would speak to the audience about yet, but that he intended to confer with Hopkins before the event. Following the discussion, there will be a brief question and answer period. Father Champlin has long known Coach Hopkins. He officiated over the Syracuse assistant’s wedding five years ago. He said that he became interested in including McNamara because of an article he had read detailing how his father had helped him learn how to shoot free throws properly. McNamara finished the season eighth in the nation in free-throw percentage (90.9 percent) and set a new standard for Syracuse University. In BIG EAST Conference play, McNamara’s free-throw shooting percentage was a league record .964.

The family connection made him an obvious choice for such an event as the luncheon. “From everything I hear, he’s not only an excellent athlete, but also a fine person,” Father Champlin said.

For McNamara, who attended a Catholic high school, Bishop Hannan, in Scranton, Pa., it’s simply a matter of remaining involved in both the church and the community as a whole. “For me, this is nothing, this is an obligation, this is what I should be doing,” McNamara said. “We think it’s a splendid opportunity for us to have him,” Father Champlin said. Along with teammate Hakim Warrick, McNamara is on the preseason watch list for the 2003-04 Wooden Award All-American Team.

Father Champlin described the event as a chance for a group of people to “hear him speak and also show how the Syracuse University basketball program is involved with the local community.” In the future, he said he hopes to visit the Cathedral School, but was not sure what date that would be.
SPORTS SHORTS: Dolphin Soccer Teams Wrap Up Week With Losses

Le Moyne’s men’s and women’s soccer teams both wrapped up last week’s play with losses Saturday. Having fallen 3-1 to Northeast-10 Conference at rival UMass-Lowell, the men’s team dropped to 4-3 on the season overall and 3-2 in league play. Junior Scott Newman took advantage of a shot by Ryan Vinciguerra that rebounded for the Dolphins’ lone goal in the contest. Goalkeeper Shawn Baker (Baldwinsville/Baldwinsville HS) had two saves. The women’s team fell to Saint Michael’s 3-0 Saturday in a Northeast-10 Conference match in Colchester. Vt. With the loss, the Dolphins fell to 1-4 overall on the season and 1-4 in league play.

CBA Girls Soccer Undefeated The Christian Brothers Academy girls soccer team entered week four of scholastic play undefeated having come off of an impressive 1-1 tie against Onondaga League Liberty Division heavyweight Marcellus Thursday, Sept. 18. “It was a hard-fought game,” coach Godwin Iwelumo said. “The team gave a good effort. We tied, but we played very well.” Mae Butler scored CBA’s lone goal with an assist from Kate Dellas. Grace Barnard was credited with five saves. With the tie, CBA’s record became 7-0-1 overall and 4-0-1 in league play. Iwelumo stressed that his team had not yet played the other top Class B teams such as Chittenango and Westhill. Last year, CBA lost to Chittenango in the Section III Championship on penalty kicks in overtime. Going into the week, CBA also had yet to play Section V’s Aquinas. The Brothers were scheduled to visit the Little Irish Wednesday for a 4:30 p.m. contest. “That should be a very good test,” Iwelumo said. CBA plays Chittenango Saturday, Sept 27 at 11 a.m. on the Bears’ homefield and then visits Westhill Tuesday, Sept. 30 for a 4:30 p.m. game. Iwelumo says that his team’s success can be attributed to its emphasis on “playing the game.” “(We) attempt to play the game of soccer, not just kick and run,” he said. Going into the new week, CBA’s leading scorer was Kate Dellas, but Iwelumo said that his team’s overall play has been the key.

St. James Johnson City 5K Run/2.5K Family Walk set The St. James Johnson City 5K Run/2.5K Family Walk is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. The course of the event goes from Main Street to Arch Street to North Street to Lester Street and back to Main Street. The 5K run will consist of two loops and the the 2.5K walk will be one loop. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the St. James Parish Tuition Assistance for Catholic Schools program, Catholic Charities of Broome County, Mom’s House, and St. James’ sister parish in Cuernavaca. Applications for the race can be obtained by going to http://www.triplecitiesrunnersclub.org/pdf/stjames_applic03.pdf . Those seeking more information should contact Father Tom Servatius at St. James, (607) 729-6147 or e-mail trimyette@aol.com.

Ludden’s All-Tournament team The all-tournament team from Bishop Ludden’s annual boys soccer tournament held Sept. 11 and Sept. 13 was recently announced. The following players were selected to the all-tournament team: from Bishop Kearney, Joe Spring; from Faith Heritage, Cooper Stroman and Jeremy Auyer; from Tully, Sean Malone, Nate Letts, and Ian Foster; from Bishop Ludden, Will Conroy, Eddie Nicholson, Alex Mihal, Ryan Cole, and tournament MVP Alex Hodgens. In tournament play, Tully defeated Faith Heritage 1-0 and Bishop Ludden defeated Bishop Kearney 2-0. On Saturday, Faith Heritage defeated Bishop Kearney 2-1. In the championship game, Bishop Ludden came out on top with a 4-3 win.

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