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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Breaking News: The President Has A Jumpshot

Off came the suit and tie, replaced for a large t-shirt, with ‘Seawolves Athletics’ sprawled across the front. The church shoes were gone too, replaced with tightly laced Nikes, low tops to be specific.

President Samuel L. Stanley traded his usual attire for a few games of pick-up basketball in Pritchard Gymnasium on Thursday, suiting up with and against members of different Stony Brook University teams.

Why basketball? Well, not only is it his favorite sport, but the President has been hooping since his high school days, and his love for the game runs deep.

‘It’s a lot of fun,’ he says, ‘It’s a team game, and it values people working together, and I can still play, which is nice,’ he adds with a smile.

In the crowd of roughly 60 was Head Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Pikiell, filling his familiar spot on the sideline. ‘It’s nice to see him out there with the athletes,’ said Pikiell, ‘He’s the most important person on the court.’

Stanley played in all three games, with his team winning the first two and trailing by just one before the last game was called due to short time. The day, and the week for that matter, is a very busy one for the fifth president of Stony Brook University

Being formally installed on Friday is the culmination of a weeklong affair, complete with various campus appearances, an inaugural ball, and a ceremony. But Thursday’s pickup game was by far the winner in making the new president break the most sweat. He was greeted with a towel and an orange Gatorade bottle at the end of the hoop session.

‘It was great, I had a really fantastic time,’ said Stanley, ‘Everybody was really nice and they actually let me shoot a little bit.’

And shoot he did. All of Stanley’s scores were from long range, as he heaved them in from the wings and top of the key. His deadly left-handed stroke saw him hit 3 straight deep treys in the second game, earning cheers from the crowd.

On defense, the president was a pest, deflecting passes and being vocal. Although he was less active in the last of the three games, Stanley still showed glimpses of the type of basketball player he was when he participated in intramural hoops in his college days.

Like a real basketball player, he even got frustrated with himself after a missed layup, gently smacking himself on the face.

They say that the way a man plays basketball reflects his character and personality, and Stanley agrees. ‘I like to pass, and I like thinking about who my opponent is,’ he says, ‘And the strategy involved in the game, I think it does say a lot about you as a person.’

If his basketball style reflects on his presidency, one can expect a new era of direct involvement between leadership and the student body, and a more aggressive push to make Stony Brook University the bearer of positive change in the economic state of the SUNY system.

Both the Stony Brook men and women basketball programs will be kicking off their seasons soon, providing entertainment until the next time the President takes the court.

Quick words of advice for whoever is guarding the president when he does: Force him right and keep your hands up.

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