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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Ballin’ behind the scenes

Frank Sorochen ’23
Jack McGeever ’23
Brendan Farrell ’22

According to his colleague, Brendan Farrell ’22, St. Joe’s men’s basketball manager, Frank Sorochen ’23, was “lost on the court” at the Siegel Center, Virginia Commonwealth University’s basketball arena.

Fellow manager Jack McGeever ’23 concurred.

“It was like the scene in ‘Semi Pro’ when Will Ferrell just starts screaming out ‘I’m going rover!’” McGeever said. “I think that would be a pretty apt description.”

Luckily for Sorochen, this incident was not a result of a chair-prop debacle and it was no deterrence to the men’s basketball team. In fact, it didn’t even happen during a men’s basketball game.

Sorochen, Farrell and McGeever all compete in what is known as the Manager Games, an underground basketball league that pits managers and staffers from different college basketball programs against each other in full court, five-on-five games. 

About half of all men’s Division I programs field a team, according to Sorochen. 

Typically, games are played the day or evening before a scheduled game between two schools is set to occur. 

This season, players for St. Joe’s have ranged from the managers, to the Hawk Mascot Alec Kerr, to associate head coach John Griffin III. According to Sorochen, the scope of team personnel that is allowed to compete is wide-ranging.

“If you’re involved in the program currently or whatever point in the past, you can play,” Sorochen said. “The head coach could play, all the assistants, all the graduate assistants and all the managers.”

Farrell said that Sorochen “runs the show” when it comes to the Manager Games. 

“Frank sets the schedule up, he gets everyone there and then once we’re on the floor, if Frank says something, you better be doing it,” Farrell said. 

Sorochen said when St. Joe’s is approaching a game, he will check the “huge” Manager Games excel spreadsheet to see if the opposition has a manager team.

“I just sent out a text saying, “Hey, are you guys around to play a manager game?” Sorochen said. “If they’re available, great, then we’ll play. But if not, then that’s all right. But it’s mainly  just giving them a text and seeing if they  want to play.”

Currently, the team boasts a 2-3 record, and the team has notched both of its wins this season away from Hawk Hill. The trio is aided in road action by former collegiate players, video coordinator Reggie Cameron and graduate managers Phillip Lawrence-Ricks and Mike Walley.

“We didn’t even come remotely close to winning a game for my first three years,” Farrell said. “This year, we got Reggie Cameron and those other guys out on the floor and got our first win at [the University of] Rhode Island. It just felt really good.”

McGeever said Lawrence-Ricks threw down a “mind-blowing” dunk during a winning game against fifth-ranked Saint Louis University. 

“It was a pleasure to be involved with a team that was able to make an athletic play like that,” McGeever said. “When it’s just home managers, it’s usually turnover after turnover.”

Turnovers aside, the team’s home games serve as a bonding experience for the managers, according to McGeever. While McGeever, Farrell and Sorochen are the three managers who travel with the team to away games, there are 14 men’s basketball managers in total, all of whom are eligible to play in the team’s home games. 

“You have some managers who haven’t seen the other managers that often,” McGeever said. “It’s a way to bring managers together and grow relationships.”

Because the team has played five games this season, it’s met the minimum requirements to compete in the Manager Games March Madness Tournament. The teams in the bracket must advance through the initial rounds via a vote on Twitter, and the final four remaining teams will be provided with the chance to duke it out on the court in New Orleans, the site of the 2022 NCAA Final Four.

“We’re hungry for a manager national championship,” Sorochen said. “Hopefully Hawk Hill can help us out with the votes.”

The team hopes to play La Salle University and Rhode Island in the coming days.

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