Coming into the season, Montclair State University men’s basketball fans did not know what to expect with new changes to the coaching staff. However, it turned out to work pretty nicely. This year’s basketball season was filled with highlights and moments that players and fans will never forget.
One of these top highlights was when Akbar Hoffman, former senior guard, drove right down the court with two defenders on him, took a deep three-pointer and sunk the basket to give the Red Hawks the victory over William Paterson University. His teammates jumped all over him and created a dog pile in celebration. The play was so incredible that it aired the next day on SportsCenter’s top 10 plays for the world to see it.
Keyon Pryce, a freshman guard, still remembers that ending well.
“Breathtaking moment,” Pryce said.
The first home game also ended in a victory. The Montclair State Red Hawks were on a six-game road trip to start the season and were finally able to play in an arena full of their fans on Dec. 7. The Red Hawks took on Kean University and jumped to a 20-point lead right from the start. This set the tone for the rest of the game and the team took the victory 96-79.
For Justin Potts, the Red Hawks’ new head coach, one of his favorite moments of the season was the home cookout with the team.
“It was great for them to be able to spend time with my family and allow us to enjoy some great food,” Potts said.
This season marked a lot of history for the Red Hawks. Let’s not forget how the Red Hawks swept the Ramapo Roadrunners for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The team also had season highs in scoring with 18 three-pointers made and 27 assists.
“After that game I felt like we could really start to build something,” Steve Breeman, a sophomore forward, said. “That game resembles the style that Coach Potts wants us to play and I promise you’ll see more games like that next season.”
Another highlight of the season was Senior Day. It was a touching moment seeing the team lineup in tunnel formation as seniors and their family received high-fives and cheers from the players as their names echoed through the arena. At the end of the tunnel waiting for them was Potts and his daughters with hugs, high-fives and a frame full of photos of the players.
Whether it was a hard-earned victory on the court, or a touching moment off the court, these memories and countless others will be remembered forever in Red Hawk men’s basketball history.