On Friday, Nov. 3, the Manhattan College Men’s Basketball team will square off with Sacred Heart University in a charity game to support hurricane relief funds in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
The game will be held at 8:00pm in Draddy Gymnasium, and there will be suggested donation of five dollars at the entry gate. 100 percent of the proceeds will then be forwarded to the American Red Cross to aid them in rebuilding the areas impacted by the hurricanes.
While head coach Steve Masiello is looking forward to the opportunity to support an important cause, his group this year has felt the impacts of the hurricane damage on a personal level.
First year forward Ebube Ebube (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and assistant coach Michael Alvarado both have strong family ties in Puerto Rico, and in the wake of Hurricane Maria, this group has rallied to support their teammates.
“I have people around me who are my brothers. And they’re here asking me how I’m doing, how my family’s doing every day, making sure I’m good if I need anything,” Ebube said, “It made me feel closer to them… that outside of the court they really care about me”
Ebube, in just a couple months as a Jasper, has proven to be both a man of high character and high intellect, two qualities that impressed Masiello from their earliest encounters.
“Ebube Ebube is a young man that I think the world of, he’s mature beyond his years…and is a tremendous ambassador of our program,” Masiello said to The Quadrangle in late September.
That interview took place September 22, the day before Hurricane Maria touched down in Puerto Rico. A month later, CNN reports about 70 percent of the island is still with power, and many still have limited access to drinking water.
The effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still being felt within the continental United States as well. Many are still without food or shelter as the country continues its effort to rebuild after one of the most tragic hurricane seasons in recent history.
But for Ebube, Masiello, and the rest of the Men’s Basketball team, a season approaches. And even with packed slate of games and events tabbed for the coming week, the Jaspers have a piece of their hearts invested in Friday’s contest.
“None of them are super big events for us…but the charity game is big for the cause,” Masiello said.
With his rookie campaign looming, Ebube has just hoped the basketball court could continue to be his haven. Still excited for the season, the freshman forward is confident that his struggles off the court have made him stronger on the court.
“I feel optimistic in how my play is going to translate. I just have so much stuff built up inside, I’m just going to express it on the court,” Ebube said.
Manhattan Madness with be taking place Thursday, Nov. 2, with the charity exhibitions tipping off the next day. The Women’s basketball team will also be hosting an exhibition game versus Dominican just before that Men at 6:00pm in Draddy.
The following Wednesday, the Jaspers will kick off their non-conference schedule at home against NYIT, where the opportunity to donate to hurricane relief will still be present in the form of a collection box at the entrance.