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Media day kicks off basketball season for men’s and women’s squads in Hempstead

By Joe Pantorno (Editor-in-Chief)

While Hofstra was recuperating from its debate on Thursday, its men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off the pre-season with media day at the Long Island Marriott. With opening words from Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway, women’s coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey and men’s coach Mo Cassara broke down the state of their programs as we are just a few weeks from the regular season openers. “I’m very, very excited,” said Hathaway. “Glad that the season is here. Glad that I can see these excellent coaches coach, these excellent players play.” With Kilburn-Steveskey, senior captains Shante Evans and Candace Bond were in attendance as the team looks to continue building on its recent successes. “I’m not one to fake it very much, I’ve been so excited to get back out on the floor,” said Kilburn-Steveskey. “It’s been fun every day, seeing what this team can do.” Evans, who has all eyes on her going into her final season, is coming off a season in which she averaged 19.1 ppg and 10.5 rpg. “[I’m] finally a senior, which is weird, but I’m proud of this school and so happy to get going this year,” said Evans. “We’re going to be pretty good this year. Just going to take it day by day.” A staple of the defense, Bond averaged 2.7 steals per game to compliment an offense game that has been ever improving. “It’s going to be great just to step out on that court and play a real game,” said Bond. “No matter what happens we have to keep fighting. We’re going to lose a couple games, we’re going to win a lot of games, we just have to keep our heads this year.” On a men’s side that is looking to erase the memories of last year’s 10-22 campaign, Cassara is looking to captains David Imes and Stevie Mejia to lead a side that consists of many freshman and transfers. “It’s great to know that basketball season is right around the corner,” said Cassara. “We have so many new faces and every day is a new challenge which is kind of interesting.” Imes, who is relishing his role as a leader, knows his role on this team. “I’m going to show these guys what’s right and wrong on and off the court,” said Imes. “At the end of the day, I want to be there to help these guys out.” Mejia, who will be running the offense at point guard, will be dealing with a fairly inexperienced group, but he knows he is up to the task. “This is my last go around. I want to see how this team is going to hold up,” said Mejia. “I have to keep my poise, go out there and lead this team.” The men take on Queens College on November 3 at the Mack in its only exhibition match-up while the women travel down to Texas to take on Stetson and the University of Texas a week later.

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