Tonight the NCAA crowds a new Division I men’s basketball champion and thus bringing the 2012-13 college basketball season to an end. With this being the official end of the long four and a half month journey, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks to many people who helped in the growth and success of Blackbirds Hoops Journal in year one.
When I started the blog last summer, I honestly didn’t know how many people would even bother reading anything I wrote. I didn’t know if anyone else cared as much about LIU Brooklyn hoops as much as I did. When I first started back over last summer, I honestly had very low expectations. I was just hoping to get a some readers who would check in from time to time. The blog was getting between 20 to 30 views a day over the summer and I thought maybe that the way it is going to be all year long. I wasn’t really writing about the Blackbirds to get views on the blog, I was writing I was a fan of the team and an alum of the school and I have truly enjoyed watching and attending LIU basketball games for now the last seventeen seasons. Well, I quickly learned as the season went along that there really was an interest in LIU Brooklyn basketball and it just wasn’t me and a select few. Every month, the views kept increasing and people started knowing who I was at games and was coming up to me and thanking me for starting the blog and enjoyed my writing and told me to keep it up. I felt very gratified and appreciate of all the support. As the 26,000+ views show, people really did enjoy the blog and kept returning and leaving comments and writing messages to me, asking me various questions about the team. I learned I’m not the only passionate Blackbird fan out there, that there are plenty of other fans just like myself and followed this program as intently as I did. It was great for me to see that.
I started the blog in particular this season because of a couple of factors. I wanted to cover LIU’s attempt to three-peat in the NEC which they ultimately did but not without the major bumps in the roads that happened this season. Also, it was year one of the Jack Perri era who followed the 10-year Jim Ferry era and I wanted my first year to coincide with his first year as LIU head coach. In retrospect, it couldn’t have worked out any better. I’m glad I got the opportunity to follow this team through the various and numerous ups and downs of what became a historic season for the program, becoming the first Northeast Conference men’s basketball team ever to win three consecutive NEC tournament championships and represent the NEC in the NCAA tournament.
I was there from game one at the Barclays Center vs Morehead State. I went to every home game at both the Wellness Center and the Barclays Center. A first for me in a while since usually some kind of circumstances will cause me to miss at least a game or two during the season. I attended 26 of LIU’s 31 games this season and the five I didn’t attend I watched online or on television so I got to watch every LIU game this season, which is a first for me.
I want to start to thank some people who made this season so great and were helpful to me along the way. First of all, I have to thank my wife Millie who some of you may know from seeing her besides me at most of the games at LIU and occasionally on the road. She is my biggest supporter in all of this and without her help and support I don’t think I would have gone ahead with this blog. She helps edits some of my posts and gives me plenty of feedback. She is awesome. She has become a huge fan and big time supporter of this program as well. I think she has become more popular at LIU games than I have over this past season.
I also want to thank Bob Dea, whose pictures are scattered all over this blog. Bob, who is also an LIU alum and has been a staple at LIU games for longer than I have been, came on board early in the season and his pictures helped in adding a visual to my recaps and other posts. He did an amazingly job all season long and even traveled on various buses and trains all over the tri-state to some roads games to capture photos. Thanks Bob for all the photos and all your help this season.
I have to say a big thanks to the entire LIU Brooklyn Athletics Department and the Media Relations Department. I didn’t know how they would feel about me and this blog but they were great to me from day one. Many thanks in particular to Dan Lobacz, LIU Brooklyn’s Director of Media Relations, for all the help he provided myself and Bob all season long. He helped us get everything we needed all season long. Thanks also to the many SIDs and men’s basketball contacts I got the pleasure to communicate with this season and who helped me get the access and information I needed this season. I greatly appreciate all the assistances.
I also have to say a big thanks to LIU Brooklyn head men’s basketball coach Jack Perri, all the assistant coaches and to all the players on this year’s team for their cooperation and support of the blog and myself this season. I can’t say enough good things about Coach Perri. He would answer my questions and spend as much as I needed with him even if I was the only guy there to ask questions which was the case of a couple of occasions. The first thing I told him when I first meet him at NEC Media Day in October was that I thought he was the right man for the job and was deserving of the opportunity of becoming LIU’s head coach. He proved in year one, he could get job done and did it in under less than ideal circumstances. The Joe B. Hall National Coach of the Year award he won last Friday proves it. Thanks also to all the players who took a moment or two to answer my questions and kindly say nice things about the blog.
I also need to thank the great folks at the Northeast Conference for their help and support this season. Thanks to NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris, Assistant Commissioner Ron Ratner and Director of Communications and Social Media Ralph Ventre and the entire NEC staff. The NEC launched the best platform this season in NEC Front Row and it allowed fans to watch their teams home and (in most cases) away and let you watch other teams and their great players on a regular basis, at anytime. This is a great, fan-friendly league which features entertaining basketball which has gotten better and better over the last few years and it continue to grow and get better under the guidance of these great folks. An NEC win in the NCAAs is going to come, it is just a matter of time now.
Thanks also to my fellow bloggers who have been supportive of Blackbirds Hoops Journal all season. I want to thank them for the various mentions on their own blogs and on their twitter feeds. These guys do an outstanding job on their own blogs and sites and maybe one day this blog will get to the level of success of their blogs.
Finally, thanks to all of you for visiting the blog and coming back time after time. The fans, the families, the students, the alums, the administrators, the coaches, the players, lovers of college hoops, everybody! Thanks to those of you who have left comments and messages. Please continue commenting on the blog, some of the discussions that we have had on the comments on certain topics have been great. It is one of the things I like doing the most is replying to comments and messages.
I hope you all continue supporting and checking out the blog over the summer. Posts will be less frequent during the offseason as you would expect as I try to recharge from this season. Any new news or anything of importance I will certainty try and keep you all updated as the offseason goes. The regular signing period for 2013 recruits opens up on April 17 to May 15 this year so I’ll try to be on top of that as well as scheduling of games for next season.
This is hopefully just the beginning as I hope to have a bigger and better year two. I hope you all enjoyed this past season as much as I did and hopefully next season the good times can continue and Blackbirds Hoops Journal will be there once again to watch it all happen.