Nov. 11, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. - The Red Storm Athletics program and some of its most dedicated supporters celebrated "An Evening With St. John's Basketball," on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Guastavino's under the 59th Street Bridge on the East Side of Manhattan. As BIG EAST basketball makes a return to its glorious past and aligns with a new broadcast partner in FOX Sports 1, the "announcing A-Team" of Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery were on-hand to serve as Masters of Ceremonies during a night dedicated to the celebration of St. John's hardwood legacy.
Alumni, fans, friends and supporters of St. John's basketball joined Director of Athletics Chris Monasch, head coach Steve Lavin and women's coach Joe Tartamella for an evening that generated $200,000 for the Red Storm Athletics Program. St. John's basketball players from across the eras were well-represented, and for the first time at this event, student-athletes from the current men's and women's basketball teams were present to interact with both hardwood alums and program benefactors.
"This Tipoff event brings together our basketball family to celebrate the beginning of a new season," said Lavin. "Our current student-athletes were in attendance with our basketball alumni, as well as our shareholders, those people who help fuel our efforts in building the St. John's basketball program. It was a delight to have FOX broadcasters Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery with us, who provide fans expert coverage of college basketball. BIG EAST Commissioner Val Ackerman participated as well by sharing the vision for our conference moving forward. It was a memorable evening from start to finish."
"We had our players in attendance this year, which was something new and exciting," said Tartamella. "Having our student-athletes sit at tables with alums, donors and fans gave all in attendance a closer look at our programs as we prepare for and celebrate the start of our seasons."
The duo of Johnson and Raftery entertained all in attendance with interviews and a live auction that saw fans take home premium prizes such as two packages of tickets and court time at Madison Square Garden, road trips with the 2013-14 St. John's men's basketball team and a golf experience with Johnson and Hall of Fame SJU Special Assistant/Advisor Gene Keady at the exclusive Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
Fans in attendance were able to listen to season-opening addresses from Lavin and Tartamella, receive an update from BIG EAST Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman and bid on premier items and experiences in a silent auction. 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.
St. John's Season Tickets are now available. For more information, fans can visit RedStormTix.com or call the Carnesecca Arena Ticket Office at 1-888-GO-STORM. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Basketball supporters can join the Red White Club by visiting RedStormSports.com and clicking on the link to "Giving" to visit the Red White website.
Non-conference action resumes for the Red Storm men with four-straight contests at Carnesecca Arena. Following tilts with local squad Wagner (Nov. 15) and 2013 NCAA participant Bucknell (Nov. 19), the Red Storm open play with two on-campus games as part of the Barclays Center Classic presented by Continental Tire. Monmouth comes to Queens on Friday, Nov. 22 followed by Longwood on Tuesday, Nov. 26, prior to St. John's second appearance in two seasons at the new Brooklyn Barclays Center during the fall semester on Nov. 29-30.
The St. John's women play host to Iona in the home opener on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to tip-off a three-game homestand. All three contests will air live nationally on ESPN3.