By Vince Begley,
SUNY Sullivan Director of Public Relations and Marketing
LOCH SHELDRAKE If you’ve noticed a particularly bright glow emanating from Loch Sheldrake lately don’t be alarmed… be excited, because for the first time in 20 years the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament will not be played at SUNY Delhi, but right here in Sullivan County at SUNY Sullivan’s Paul Gerry Fieldhouse, March 10-12.
“Having brought the Generals to the NJCAA Division III Championship a number of times, the college community thought it was time to bring the excitement home,” said Chris DePew, SUNY Sullivan’s Director of Athletics. “The college community came together and put in our bid to host the championship and we got it. And I can tell you we’re going to do it right for the participating teams, the college and the county.”
The four-time NJCAA champion SUNY Generals (’92, ’95, ’96 and ’07), the 2011 Region XV champions, will be taking on last year’s NJCAA Division III Champions, the Wolves from Joliet (IL) in what should prove to be one of the greatest basketball matches the region has ever seen. The Generals and Wolves meet on the court, Thursday, March 10 at 8 p.m.
“We had a fantastic season,” the Generals head coach, Kevin DeVantier, said. “We practice like a team, we play like a team… and we’re going to win like a team.”
The NJCAA Division III Championship gets underway at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 10 when the Ocean County CC Vikings (NJ) face the Mass Bay CC Buccaneers (MA). At 3 p.m. the madness continues with a matchup between The Davidson CC Storms (NC) and the Lions from Mountain View CC (TX). At 6 p.m. the 2011 champion runner-ups, the Rochester CTC Yellow Jackets (MN) meet the SUNY Delhi Broncos (NY).
The SUNY Sullivan Generals (28-4 overall) played strong all season. Two local players, Cleanthony Early (Middletown) and Marvin Jean (Harriman) brought some special magic to the team, having been coached well at basketball power house, Mt. Zion Christian Academy (NC). Not only did Early and Jean post some impressive records this season, they helped propel the team to new heights. The Generals also boast two other local players, Dustin VanLieu (Liberty) and Jordan Thorpe (Newburgh).
Depending upon the outcome of the Generals’ opener against the Wolves, SUNY Sullivan will either play at 3 or 8 p.m., Friday, March 11.
An All-tournament pass is available for $25 for adults and $15 for students/children. Two game-session tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for students/children.
Spectators will have a chance to win a 2011 Ford Fiesta in our exciting Three-Point Contest. The Fiesta is compliments of M&M Auto Group of Liberty.
SUNY Sullivan is grateful for the support from Catskill Orange Orthopaedics, PC; Misner Benefits; and the Misner Agency.
For up-to-the minute championship information, visit www.championships-sullivan.com.
Tickets can be purchased on game day in the Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. All-Tournament passes can be purchased in advance by calling Georgia Lyons at 434-5750, ext. 4294.