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Letter: The Pride Hoopsters are Back

Hofstra University men’s basketball is back and in full bloom for another season.

In terms of team history, try this question.  What metropolitan men’s basketball team (including Manhattan, Rider, Seton Hall, Wagner) has the most wins in the last five years as well as the last 10 years, and has the most 20-win seasons since 2002. It’s Hofstra.

Then there’s Charles Jenkins, the Pride’s 6’3” powerhouse who could blossom into a potential NBA player.  In 2007, Charles was selected as the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Rookie of the Year as well as the Metropolitan Rookie of the Year.

The same Charles Jenkins earned the Haggerty Award as the top player in the New York metropolitan area and was selected to the first team All-CAA.  There’s more; in 2009, he again earned the Haggerty Award and also received honorable mention All-American honors.

In 2010, he was one of 50 players chosen to the pre-season Watch List for the prestigious Naismith Trophy, which is awarded to the top player in the NCAA.

After opening with a victory, the team lost three straight in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament that included the perpetual powerhouse North Carolina and Western Kentucky.  The loss to Western Kentucky was a heartbreaker, as Jenkins scored 27 points. He also scored 24 points against North Carolina.

The Pride then reeled off five straight victories, and each one was a thriller.  These “cardiac kids” won three games after trailing by halftime.

In the win against host Binghamton, Jenkins scored 40, netting the last 15 points in regulation time.  Most recently, the Pride lost a close one to Mike Jarvis’ Florida Atlantic University 63-59, with Jenkins scoring 29 points.

Through it all, Jenkins has proven beyond any doubt that he’s the real thing, averaging 25.3 points (60 percent shooting, 3.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists) in the process.  Make no mistake, pro scouts will again be converging on David S. Mack Arena because of Jenkins.

I think he has a better than 50-50 chance of making the NBA.  He’s built like an oversized fullback, a fearsome driver, an excellent shot, and solid defensively; a sight to behold.

In addition to Jenkins, there’s the exciting atmosphere that has been present since I starting covering the games six years ago.  And, as I have repeated time and time again, the Hofstra games remain the best sports buy in the metropolitan area.  Admission is $5 for seniors and kids, parking is free and immediately adjacent to Mack Arena, hot dogs are $3 and sodas are $2, and did I mention that there isn’t a bad seat in the house.  If you’ve read this far, you have more than a passing interest in baskets.  I suggest you try a game. I’m sure you will come back for more.

Lou Theodore

Williston Park