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Big 4 basketball programs join #TeamNewYork as part of Covid-19 prevention

The Big 4’s men’s and women’s college basketball coaches have united with other basketball programs across the state for a cause.

Coaches from the University at Buffalo, Niagara, Canisius and St. Bonaventure have joined men's and women's basketball coaches from 18 other Division I basketball schools in New York as part of the Team New York initiative on social media, which is aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19.

According to the New York Daily News, former Duke player Andy Borman, who is executive director of the New York City-based New York Renaissance Basketball Association, and Syracuse graduate assistant Ben Horwitz spearheaded the initiative, made up of 44 men’s and women’s basketball coaches.

On Tuesday, coaches from the Big 4 schools rolled out their messages on personal and team Twitter accounts, with tweets aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus, accompanied by the hashtag #TeamNewYork.

“No basketball,” UB coach Jim Whitesell said in a video posted Tuesday evening. “Wash those hands. If you’ve got to go out, wear a mask if you’re going to be around other people. Check in on one another in the state of New York.

“Together, we can beat this thing.”

UB women’s basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack also posted a video message on Twitter.

“Today, I stand for Team New York, and it’s important we all grow together to be safe,” Legette-Jack said.

“This is a tough time, but New York, we’re tough, and we’re going to be able to get through this together.”

Canisius men's basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon posted a message and a graphic on his Twitter account

"I am proud to be a part of #TeamNewYork," Witherspoon wrote. "This team is comprised of all of the Division I head coaches throughout NY state. While we compete against each other on the court, we are joining forces to help fight the COVID-19 virus."

Niagara women’s basketball coach Jada Pierce also emphasized what people can do as a means to “flatten the curve” in a video posted to her Twitter account.

“Stay home, New Yorkers, and stay safe,” Pierce said, to close her video message.

Niagara men's coach Greg Paulus, Canisius women's coach Scott Hemer, St. Bonaventure men's coach Mark Schmidt and Bonnies women's coach Jesse Fleming also posted messages in support of Team New York on their personal or official Twitter accounts on Tuesday.


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