By Grace Cardinal and Andrew Mannion, Staff Writers
On Friday night, the Jaspers men’s basketball team prepared to have their home opener against Central Connecticut State University. Going into the game, there was chatter that it could turn into a big night. The Jaspers were looking for their first win of the season, and they were favored to win against the Blue Devils by 6.5 points. A win would have also given Rashawn Stores his first win as a Head Coach, while doing it on a court where he has already earned himself an impressive resume as a player.
At around 6:55 p.m., the team found out that they would have to wait a little longer to open up their home opener at Draddy Gymnasium. Officials canceled the game due to an unplayable court and concern for student-athlete safety.
“Due to unplayable court conditions and a concern for student-athletes safety, both schools decided to postpone the game tonight tentatively, we’ll announce at a later date when the makeup is,” said Phil Paquette, assistant athletic director.
Riverdale was hit with almost an inch of rain over Friday afternoon. Issues began with the court, speculated to be related to the rainy conditions and increased humidity. Manhattan student athletes apart from the men’s team noticed issues with the court during their practices before the game.
“We [the team] were saying the floor was slippery, people were coming to wipe the floors, but it just didn’t seem to change,” said sophomore track and field athlete Makayla Dorvil. “It stopped, and then it was slippery again. This gym is extremely hot and it was raining outside too, which made everything humid. I’m not surprised the game was canceled because of the wet floors. Just walking on it now you can hear it squeaking.”
Friday evening was lining up to be a big night even outside of the basketball game itself. Students from Manhattan College were preparing to broadcast the matchup over ESPN services. Director and producer Joe Ruggiero said he was proud of the hard work of his students despite an unfortunate situation.
“I just want to thank my students and announcers for showing up on time and setting everything up,” Ruggiero said. “We were ready to go, unfortunately, the court was deemed unplayable. We still had a great broadcast on our end, we just didn’t get to broadcast out to the world.”
Ruggiero continued to say that while the situation was unfortunate for students, it was out of anyone’s control, and the broadcast team is ready for a great home opener next weekend, albeit delayed.
While Friday evening’s game wasn’t able to be played, the men’s basketball team will be back at Draddy Gymnasium on November 18 at 7 p.m. They will open up a four-game home stand against a borough rival with the Dolphins out of Mount St.Vincent.