If you're at Buffalo State College and you have a major project to pull off in a few days, don't worry.
Just ask Rocky Reeves.
Rocky will do it. He'll do anything.
The sophomore hockey player has established himself not only as an outstanding player on the ice for the Division III Bengals, but as the go-to-guy on campus.
Ask him about his volunteer work and he'll likely forget half the stuff he's done. Oh yeah, he remembers halfway through an interview, he helped with Take Back the Night.
"I got a call two days before it was supposed to happen and they needed help getting kids out. So I made some phone calls. We had about 30 kids out there, which wasn't bad considering I had only two days to do it," Reeves said.
It's just another typical volunteer story for Reeves. And it's the type of story that has brought him national recognition.
Reeves is one of five finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented annually to one player, male or female, across all three NCAA divisions.
He's up against Christina Sorbara (Brown), Ryan Reinheller (Alaska-Fairbanks), Gloria Sonnen (Bowdoin) and Jason Cupp (Nebraska-Omaha). The winner will be announced at the Frozen Four in Albany in April.
Reeves, a health and wellness major from Anchorage, Alaska, has been involved in a host of activities at Buffalo State -- Take Back the Night, the health and wellness fair, working at a soup kitchen, organizing a holiday rummage sale to benefit the homeless.
But his real focus now is in his role as president of the Buffalo State Student Athletic Advisory Board. He wants to get more student-athletes involved in community service.
"Right now, I'm working on getting the athletes involved. That's what I really want to set up here," Reeves said. "I've contacted Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Erie County to try and get some of our athletes to mentor. Project Flight, which delivers books to underprivileged kids, is right on campus and I'm trying to get us involved in that.
"It's really hard to get athletes involved. When I took over the SAAB last year, it was difficult just to get people from the different teams to come to meetings. But hopefully, my biggest goal is to make the SAAB a strong organization, a place where if someone wants to get involved in volunteering, they know where to go."
Reeves always had a sense of community. Raised by his grandmother, who taught him family values, he learned to respect the elderly and to help those who couldn't help themselves.
He came to Buffalo State sight unseen. While Reeves was playing junior hockey in California, Bengals coach Jim Fowler recruited him via telephone. The two played phone tag until one day Reeves decided to pack his bags and come to Buffalo, leaving a message on Fowler's answering machine that he was coming and needed a place to stay for a few days.
He played one game his freshman year before getting injured. He spent that year as a medical redshirt, and that gave him time to get involved in campus activities.
Then came his first year on ice last season, when he was third in the ECAC in scoring and second in the nation in short-handed goals.
Meanwhile, he continued all the charitable work he began during that redshirt year, while taking as many as 18 credit hours a semester. And his play on the ice is carried out in the same selfless way as is his work off the ice.
"I named him captain his redshirt freshman year," Fowler said. "He hasn't had the same linemates for a whole season and he just adapts to whoever he's with. He adapts to the situation, whether it's scoring or setting up the play so someone else can score or penalty killing. Whatever the job is, he gets it done."
ECC turns it around
It was a rocky start, but Erie Community College's men's basketball team is still in the hunt for the playoffs.
Sporting a 17-7 overall record, 6-5 in the Penn-York Athletic Conference, the Kats are in the thick of the race to finish in the top four of the league and advance to postseason play.
"We have a bunch of kids who can really play," said first-year coach Alex Nwora. "All these are local kids who can move on to bigger schools if they wanted to. Our record is deceiving. We're better than 17-7. We just were not playing well at the beginning of the school year. We've been picking it up toward the end of the season. We're playing better, more together, than when we started. When you bring a bunch of kids together who don't know each other, you have to mold them together to be one. It's difficult, but we're getting there."
ECC hosts two league games this week: an 8 p.m. start on Thursday against Genesee CC and a Saturday game against Jamestown CC, both at the ECC City Campus.
This week's double dog dare - How many basketball games can you see in person in a day?
On Saturday, you'll have your chance to find out.
For the adventurous, start in Olean as St. Bonaventure takes on St. Joseph's in a rematch of last week's overtime game in Philadelphia. That tips off at 2 p.m.
For those closer to Buffalo, Canisius hosts Marist at 2 p.m. in the Koessler Center.
In the mood for some women's action? The University at Buffalo women's team plays MAC West leader Ball State at 1 p.m., followed by the UB men's 4 p.m. game against Bowling Green.
Cap the night off at Niagara, where the Purple Eagles will play Iona at midnight -- yes, midnight -- for an ESPN2 nationally televised game. You could stay home and watch it on TV, but you don't get any bonus points for that.