Mount Students Take Barclays Center
Riverdale, N.Y. – On January 15, the Brooklyn Nets will take on the Houston Rockets at 6 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York. A little over six hours before the professionals take the court, 19 student-athletes with “CMSV” emblazoned across their chest will be the first Mount basketball players to play a regular season game in the home of a professional NBA franchise.
Leading the Men’s Basketball team will be head coach and CMSV alumnus Brian Nigro, who just also happens to also be a Brooklyn native. He will lead his team against the College of New Rochelle, which is coached by his older brother, Danny.
This won’t be the first time the Nigro brothers have led their teams against each other, back in the 2008-2009 season, the two brothers were both coaching in the Skyline Conference and squared off twice, with each winning one.
“This is probably the most difficult game on our schedule because I’m going up against my older brother,” said Coach Nigro. “He’s taught me so much, but I know once the ball goes up and its game time I will want to win, no matter who is on the other sideline. We will want to win because we had that competitive nature instilled in us by our Dad.”
“We want to win this game not just for coach but for ourselves too,” said Myron Hickman ’17. “We know that it’s a sibling rivalry and CNR will be prepared and ready for us but if we execute our game plan there should be no reason why we can’t win. Plus, we want coach to have the “W” and bring it up at the next family dinner.”
A division III program having the chance to play a regular season game on an NBA court is a rare opportunity that is not going unnoticed by the student athletes on the men’s team.
“This opportunity is great,” said Mr. Hickman. “I’ve had this game circled on my calendar since the beginning of the season. It’s not often you get a chance to experience something like this, so for me, I know I will soak it all in and enjoy every moment.”
Austin Mick ’20, is one of two student athletes that didn’t grow up in the Tri-State area, growing up in the small town of Brunswick, Ohio, he’s fulfilling a life-long dream. “Ever since the Nets moved to Brooklyn, I’ve dreamed about it, I think every kid that plays basketball growing up does. The fact that I get the opportunity to do it is an incredible feeling.”
Balancing the emotions of playing on such a large stage while trying to win “just another game” on the schedule is something both player and coach will have to deal with.
Having grown up and played high school basketball in Brooklyn, Coach Nigro will lead his alma mater on the court in front of numerous friends and family. “This game means a lot, not only to me personally but to CMSV. Having the chance to lead my alma mater on the floor of an NBA arena is something I’ve always dreamed of doing.”
“I think some of the guys will have butterflies before the game starts,” said Khalil Shorter ’17. “Once the balls goes up and the flow of the game picks up everything will fall into place and it will be just another game.”
The emotions and memories of the day are sure to last a lifetime for both coach and player, as each will certainly have a moment or experience that will stick with them.
“This will absolutely be in my top five,” said Mr. Hickman. “Just having the chance to say I’ve played in the Barclays, not many people get the chance to say that and I’m grateful for the opportunity and ready to seize the moment.”
“I will be relieved when the game is over and Danny and I can go out and have a good laugh about the game,” said Coach Nigro. “More importantly I know Dad will be looking down at us with a big smile no matter who wins.”
Mount students, alumnae/i, faculty and staff interested in coming to Barclays to cheer on the Dolphins must purchase a ticket for the Nets vs. Rockets game. All inquiries should be sent to Coach Nigro, who can be reached at email@example.com or (718) 405-3415.
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.