It was with mixed emotions that I walked into the Leavey Center for the Men's Basketball Banquet 2010. The basketball season really flew by, and I am still experiencing withdrawals that will not end until the start of the Kenner Summer League. Just five days prior to the banquet, I got a chance to see Markel Starks, Nate Lubick, and Moses Abraham play in the Capital Classic. I know our future is bright. Greg Monroe's decision to enter the NBA draft left me both sad that he will be leaving, and happy for Greg's new opportunities. The HoyaNation is looking forward to following his NBA career. He will always be a Hoya, and loved on the Hilltop.
As I entered the ballroom I chatted with Hoyas Unlimited staff and fellow Georgetown alumni Ricky Schramm and Mara Vandlik. I could see that they had everything well prepared for the evening, as HHC President Al Bozzo, and Master of Ceremonies Joe Lonardo checked out the stage and microphones. As I stepped out to have a drink I met up with the Chvotkins: Rich, Evan, and Pam. We reminisced about the last time we were in the Leavey Center together, staying in the Georgetown Inn, and trudging through the blizzard to McDonough Gymnasium for the Old Dominion game. Who could forget all of the snowstorms of the 2009-10 season!
As we approached 7:00 PM, the players and coaches entered, and everyone slowly moved towards their tables. It always makes me proud to see how well our players and coaches are dressed--Proud to wear the Blue and Gray. It is always a special evening. After Joe Lonardo introduced the DAIS, Reverend William McFadden did the invocation. We then saw the first glimpse of the 2009-10 highlight film. That really got the crowd going. Two of my favorites were of course the Duke, and Villanova home games. Who could forget the Gray Out in front of President Obama, and VP Biden. The Hoyas rout of the Villanova Wildcats was certainly another highlight. I will never forget conquering the blizzard with another 12,000 plus Hoya fans to get to Verizon Center. However, my favorite game was Georgetown defeating the #1 ranked Syracuse Orange at the Big East Tournament in front of an electric crowd at Madison Square Garden. Indeed there were many great moments to the 2009-10 season.
It was entertaining to see each of the players "roasted" in good fun by assistant coach Matt Henry, as they each received their gifts and had their pictures taken. Dr. William Licamele, aka LicHoya, won the Anthony Fernicola Award for outstanding contributions to the Hoya Hoop Club and the Men's Basketball program. Congratulations to Bill, a great Hoya. Bill needs no further press on the internet as we all know! Coach JT III gave out two coaches awards to Ryan Dougherty, and Julian Vaughn. The cheerleaders, band, Hoya Blue, Hoyas Unlimited Staff especially Mara Vandlik for organizing the evening, were appropriately thanked. New Athletic Director Lee Reed received a warm welcome, as he mingled with the crowd through the evening.
As we completed our meal, our HHC Communications group at Table 16 had fun with Father Ray Kemp. It was great to have Father Kemp at our table as he has been a teacher and friend to many of our current and former Hoya basketball players. For those of you who know Father Kemp, he is always entertaining. The highlight of the evening for me though was JT III allowing Greg Monroe to speak. Greg was very gracious telling his teammates how much he loved them, and how he considered them to be family. He did break down and had to fight away the tears to tell us that these two years at Georgetown were the best years of his life. President DeGioia, coach JT III had said it earlier, but in his own way Greg Monroe had best summed up the emotions of the evening which can simply be stated as: "We Are Georgetown!"
Dr. Thomas A. Wong
Vice-President Hoya Hoop Club-Communications
Proud Member of Generation Ewing