St. John's Opens 100th Basketball Season With Gala Tip-Off Dinner|
Oct. 5, 2007
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's men's basketball program officially began its centennial celebration with the 2007 Gala Tip-Off Dinner, held Thursday night at New York City's Metropolitan Club. Nearly 100 supporters of Red Storm basketball were on hand to join head coach Norm Roberts, Director of Athletics Chris Monasch, Hall of Fame Coach Lou Carnesecca and guest speaker Bill Wennington, a 1985 St. John's grad, 1985 Final Four participant and three-time NBA champion.
"This evening was a great way to start our year-long celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Basketball," said Monasch. "We appreciate the terrific support that we received from all who attended."
The annual event, which serves as the premier fundraiser for the men's basketball program, is hosted each year by the St. John's Office of Athletic Development in conjunction with program benefactor and event originator James B. Burke.
Following appetizers and a social hour, Burke welcomed the group and introduced Roberts, who made a special presentation to longtime donors Donald and Eleanor Taffner, for whom the Red Storm's state-of-the-art practice facility is named. Wennington took the stage after dinner, where he addressed the group about the contributions necessary to make a team, and a program, successful.
A live auction followed, and ardent Red Storm fans were able to bid on some premier experiential items: a foursome at Deepdale Golf Club for the upcoming Doc Gimmler Classic; two tickets and a spot on the team charter for the Duke game at Cameron Indoor Stadium in February; a five-on-five hardwood matchup against the men's basketball staff; a spot on the bench as the honorary assistant coach against Villanova in February at Madison Square Garden; a chance to play a pickup game on the court at The Garden and 12 tickets to the Red Storm matchup vs. Marquette in February; and a youth scrimmage at halftime of a Garden home game.
The evening concluded with a "100 Years of St. John's Basketball" round-table discussion, where the distinguished panel of Wennington, Carnesecca and Roberts fielded a variety of questions from the audience, ranging from program history and the 2007-08 season outlook, to Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman.
"Thursday's event was a great success, and we'd like to thank Jimmy Burke, who has been a great help in assisting with fundraising for the four years I have been at St. John's," said Roberts quote. "This is an annual event that keeps getting stronger, and we hope for continued success with it in the coming years."
To donate to St. John's Athletics, or to find out how to participate in upcoming Athletic Development events, or for men's basketball ticket information, schedules, scores and highlights, visit the Red Storm on the Internet at www.redstormsports.com. Tickets can be purchased on-line or by calling the St. John's Ticket Office at 1-888-GO-STORM.