It has been a long time coming, but the College of Staten Island men’s basketball program will be holding its Inaugural Men’s Basketball Alumni Game on Saturday, January 29, at 11am at the Sports & Recreation Center. Designed to welcome back alumni that played for CSI both when it was a two and four-year institution, the event will be used as a fund and friend-raiser for the program with all proceeds generated supporting the program in the name of late assistant coach Matty White.
CSI alum Craig Sleap, a member of the basketball program from 1996-2000 while doubling on the baseball team crafted the idea to host the inaugural event along with CSI Head Coach Tony Petosa.
“Craig and I spoke a few times about an alumni game, and when Matty passed away, a collection of alumni really wanted to do something fitting in his honor,” explained Petosa. “I think this alumni game is a great way of preserving his memory. Having a group that he admired and that looked up to him assembled in one place to celebrate what once brought them together is overwhelming. We are very excited about it.”
Approximately 40-50 former alumni have already committed to participate, as CSI sent invitations to hundreds of former alums collected from databases kept by the CSI Alumni Relations Office. Associate Director of Alumni Relations Jennifer Lynch was excited at the concept from the start.
“The inaugural Men’s Basketball Alumni Game will recognize the legacy of Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Matty White. At the same time, we also recognize the amazing contributions of our alumni athletes through the years,” commented Lynch. “We look forward to welcoming them back to campus for a historic game and encourage our alumni and campus community to come cheer them on.”
The event will feature a full game played before CSI men’s and women’s doubleheader tip-off vs. CUNYAC-rival Hunter College, beginning with the men’s game at 1pm. Alumni will be provided with complimentary game jerseys and a full luncheon at the conclusion of the event. Registration is $30 with all proceeds generated assisting the men’s basketball program.
An assistant coach for the Dolphins for 17 years, coach White lost his battle with kidney cancer this past May, he was 74. In a dedication ceremony prior to tip-off, members of the Alumni will present the White family with a commemorative plaque dedicating the event in future years be officially renamed the Matty White Men’s Basketball Alumni Game.
“Coach White never played a minute of basketball at CSI, and you won’t find his name in the wins and losses annals of coaches here either, but what he meant to our program is immeasurable,” said Associate Athletic Director David Pizzuto, who has helped organize the event. “For the alumni to dedicate this day to him is a strong indication of just how valued he was and how he was embraced by the CSI family. There is no one more truly deserving.”
Those wanting to register early for the event can contact Petosa or Pizzuto at (718) 982-3169/3166. Late registration will take place beginning at 9:30am at the Sports & Recreation center on January 29, with tip-off slated for 11am.