Nick Mcadam, Sports Editor
The Utica College Pioneers women’s basketball team hosted its eighth annual Brooks Miles game on Nov. 12 to benefit The Compassionate Friends of the Mohawk Valley Chapter, with the team defeating SUNY Potsdam by a score of 83-57.
In total, the team has raised well over $12,000 throughout the years of the annual event. The proceeds help support families going through the grief of lost family members, according to the UC Pioneers website.
Brigid Johndrow, a junior guard for the team, explained that the idea began with head coach Michele Davis and Angela Rorick in the summer of 2012. ‘A Game for Brooks Miles’ is played in remembrance of UC alumn’s Dr. Greg Rorick ‘98 and his wife Angela’s son, Brooks, who died from heart complications in 2008 shortly after he was born.
“Greg, Angela and their son Cooper send the highest regards for all the support from the UC community,” Johndrow said.
There was a special atmosphere to the game as every seat was filled at the Harold T. Clark Athletic Center. Just from being there, one could tell that the basketball encounter was more than just a game in itself.
Johndrow said she adores this experience not only for herself, but for the fans and the greater Utica community.
“This game is really important to us because it is not just for us–it’s for so many people involved in the school and the community we get to be apart of, and that’s what makes it special,” she said. “We like to do things that help the community, and just to know we’re helping people that are going through so much is a nice feeling.”
For the third season in a row, the women’s basketball team participated in a community clean up, aiding in the efforts of Mayor Robert Palmieri and the Utica Police and Fire departments.
Giving back is a feeling Johndrow loves to replicate along with the rest of the team. Lending a hand to the community helps support the local region while the community does its part at the games.
“We get to meet those who we’re helping, and they go out of their way to come to support us at their games and thank us,” she said.
As for the game itself, the Pioneers continued their current undefeated streak of the 2019-20 campaign with a 30-point victory over SUNY Potsdam. Utica set a total of six team-highs in categories such as three-point attempts (28), blocked shots (3), turnovers (14), free throws made (17) and attempted (21), along with fouls against (15).
Johndrow finished in the top-three for the game in scoring, rebounds and field goals. She scored seven points and collected six rebounds, two of which were defensive, while the final four were offensive tallies.
Beyond the impressive stat line from the junior, Johndrow is happy that she can always contribute to a greater cause that helps produce action in local communities while growing the team on the court.
“The game is much bigger than basketball,” she said. “It’s about doing what you can to help those in need or those going through a hard time with what we have and what we do.”