Sept. 30, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - The Red Storm hardwood program and some of its most dedicated supporter celebrated "An Evening With St. John's Basketball," on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. Alumni, fans, friends and supporters of St. John's basketball joined head coach Steve Lavin, women's coach Joe Tartamella, Hall of Fame Coach Lou Carnesecca and NBA legend and featured guest Rick Barry for an evening that generated $200,000 for the Red Storm men's basketball program.
For the second-straight year, fans at the gala event were treated to emcees Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton from the "Boomer & Carton" WFAN Morning Show. The duo entertained all in attendance with interviews and a live auction that saw fans take home premium prizes such as a 2013 NBA All-Star weekend experience package, court time for a game at Madison Square Garden, a road trip with the 2012-13 St. John's men's basketball team and a live morning show experience with Boomer and Carton on Sports Radio 660-AM WFAN.
"Our annual signature tipoff event began our 2012-13 season on a high note," said Lavin. "We are grateful for Hall of Famer Rick Barry's participation in the evening's festivities. We hope our Johnnies faithful will continue to support this special event at the start of each St. John's basketball season. The funds raised assist us in continuing to build a program our faithful fans can be proud of as we continue our climb back to basketball prominence."
The annual gala, which serves as one of the premier fundraisers for the men's basketball program, is hosted each year by the St. John's Office of Athletic Development.
Fans in attendance were able to listen to season-opening addresses from Lavin and Tartamella, and enjoy a night dedicated to the celebration of St. John's hardwood legacy. Barry, inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987 and named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in History in 1996, delivered an address covering his prolific 15-year career with franchises in both the NBA and ABA. The eight-time NBA and four-time ABA All-Star averaged 24.8 points per game and 6.7 rebounds across both leagues, and lifted the Golden State Warriors to the 1975 NBA title. Barry is the only player in basketball history to capture single-season scoring titles in the NCAA, NBA and ABA.
St. John's returning core includes BIG EAST All-Rookie team member D'Angelo Harrison, combo guard Phil Greene, swingmen Sir'Dominic Pointer and Amir Garrett, and big man God'sgift Achiuwa. Its nationally-ranked No. 8 recruiting class is comprised of eight standout student-athletes representing five countries, with many who played in the New York area in the past several seasons. The elite group includes West African guard Felix Balamou, French shooter and playmaker Marc-Antoine Bourgault, Texas A&M transfer point guard Jamal Branch, sharpshooting Harvard transfer Max Hooper, stalwart power forward Christian Jones, top 20 Nigerian center Chris Obekpa, 2011-12 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council AAA Player of the Year and National Prep Championship Tournament MVP JaKarr Sampson and Dominican-born JUCO All-America forward Orlando Sanchez.