Governor Phil Murphy and wife, First Lady Tammy Murphy honored the St. Peter’s men’s basketball team on Friday night at Drumthwacket for their superlative efforts during March Madness this year.
“Do we love basketball? You betcha! Do we love sports? Absolutely. But it was so much more than that. I can’t tell you what it meant to the State of New Jersey. We have a similar persona as you all at St. Peter’s. Scrappy as heck, high character, steel backbone, won’t back down to anybody. That is who you all are as individuals and that is who we think we are as as a state,” Governor Murphy told the players and those in attendance.
In attendance from St. Peter’s included: Dr. Eugene Cornacchia, President, Saint Peter’s University, and Rachelle Paul, Athletic Director. Players in attendance included: Daryl Banks, Brent Bland, Isiah Dasher, Doug Edert, Matthew Lee, KC Ndefo, Jerry Ngopot, Latrell Reid, Clarence Rupert, Marty Silvera, Mouhamed Sow.
Former Head Coach Shaheen Holloway was not in attendance due to a previous commitment.
The Peacocks entered the tournament as a 15th seed and defeated second ranked Kentucky, seventh ranked Murray State and third ranked Purdue, before falling to North Carolina in the Elite Eight. It was the first time in program history that St. Peter’s advanced that far in the NCAA Tournament. The Jesuit Catholic university located in the heart of Jersey City, has seen an uptick in enrollment according to News 12 New Jersey in relation to the basketball program’s historic run.
The City held a special parade along JFK Boulevard for the basketball team shortly after its appearance in the Elite Eight against UNC. Governor Murphy also stopped by to visit the team at its gym Run Baby Run Arena.