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Letters from Binghamton

April 6, 2017

On Friday, March 17th the boys’ basketball team played in the program’s first State Final Four. They met the eventual State Champions Moravia and fell behind by 19 points at halftime. They still trailed by 15 with 6:30 left in the game, yet found a way to cut the deficit to 53-55 with under a minute to play. The Bears’ comeback bid fell short, but the courage and belief they showed during the game and the sportsmanship they displayed afterward was evident to all.

In the weeks since the game we received two letters from individuals outside of Stony Brook that further indicates what a special group of young men this team was as well as the value of competition beyond mere wins and losses.

The first came from Bob Mayo, the New York State basketball coordinator who was in attendance in Binghamton.

I am writing to both congratulate and thank The Stony Brook School basketball athletes and coaching staff for the outstanding display of sportsmanship and professionalism displayed throughout the 2017 basketball tournament.

The Stony Brook School should be extremely proud of the job done by Coach Mike Hickey and his coaching staff. He not only coaches with a great deal of enthusiasm and passion, he treats his players in a positive and respectful manner. His Coaching started with the opening tip-off and did not end until the final buzzer had sounded. This type of commitment was evident in the play of the team, especially in the Moravia game where the outcome of the game looked grim early on.  The coach and kids maintained their composure and battled back. None of the athletes quit and they continued to work hard to the end.

As the Section XI Boys Basketball Chairman I was proud to have The Stony Brook School represent Section XI basketball.

Thank you.

The second letter came from the coach of the Moravia squad, Todd Mulvaney, that beat the Bears and would go on to win their first state title the following day. In his letter he references a young man named Dustin, a senior captain on the team who suffered a car accident in December and is still in a wheelchair. He has been an inspirational leader for his team.

I just wanted to reach out to you and your players to thank you for showing extreme class at the Final Four in Binghamton. You and your players carried yourselves with integrity before, during, and after our game. I really appreciate you taking the time to come over and spend some time with Dustin. Following the game all of your players did the same, each player in the line gave Dustin a hand shake, few words, and a hug. That takes a lot of character to do that especially after losing a close game, and we all really appreciate that.
I have a lot of respect for the program that you have built at Stony Brook, your guys play the game the right way. Not only was it evident in our game, but in all the films I watched trying to prepare to play your team, I could tell you guys have a special program at Stony Brook.
Congratulations again to you and your players on a fantastic year and we wish you guys nothing but luck in the future. My wife’s family is from Lynbrook, in Nassau County so I will be keeping tabs on you haha. Have a great rest of the school year and please send my best wishes to all of your seniors, they seem like great kids who have a promising future.
We have the privilege of being around amazing kids each day who display our motto, Character Before Career, in meaningful ways. These two letters are a great reminder of that.
*Photos courtesy of Bruce Jeffrey and Mikayla Fils-Aime.
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