Ivy hoops roundup – Apr. 20, 2019

Harvard men’s basketball post-season banquet:
MVP – Bryce Aiken; Defensive Player of the Year – Justin Bassey
2019-2020 Captains – Seth Towns and Henry Welsh

Harvard women’s basketball post-season banquet:
Co-MVP – Katie Benzan and Madeline Raster; Defensive Player of the Year – Nani Redford; Most Improved Player – Rachel Levy

Brown women’s basketball post-season banquet:
MVP – Shayna Mehta; Most Improved Player – Haley Green

Princeton women’s basketball names Bella Alarie and Taylor Baur co-captains for the 2019-2020 season.  Coach Courtney Banghart discussed the two athletes, as well as their goals of another Ivy title and a Sweet 16 run, in the season-ending episode of The Court Report.

Yale coach James Jones just missed out on the St. John’s coaching job, but he did win the 2019 Ben Jobe Award, given by CollegeInsider.com to the top minority coach in Division I basketball.

Penn senior Princess Aghayere was named one of six recipients of the President’s Engagement Prize by university President Amy Gutmann.  Awarded annually, the Prizes empower Penn students to design and undertake post-graduation projects that make a positive, lasting difference in the world. Each Prize-winning project will receive $100,000, as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member. Student recipients will spend the next year implementing their projects.

Aghayere was chosen for her work with Rebound Liberia, which uses basketball as a tool to bridge the literacy gap between men and women and as a mechanism for youth to cope with the trauma and stress of daily life in post-conflict Liberia.

Twelve conference hoopsters make it onto The Ivy League’s Winter Academic All-Ivy team:
Shayna Mehta (Brown), Obi Okolie (Brown), Laura Bagwell-Katalinich (Cornell), James Foye (Dartmouth), Cy Lippold (Dartmouth), Princess Aghayere (Penn), Devon Goodman (Penn), Bella Alarie (Princeton), Carlie Littlefield (Princeton), Myles Stephens (Princeton), Alex Copeland (Yale), Megan Gorman (Yale)

Penn Athletics profiles Hall of Fame inductee Keven McDonald (’78).  McDonald is the fourth leading scorer in Quaker history, as well as a Ivy Rookie of the Year, three time first team All-Ivy and Player of the Year (’78).  He is also a member of the Big Five Hall of Fame, and was selected a Legend of Ivy Basketball in February 2018.

UConn’s independent student newspaper, the Daily Campus, caught up with former Cornell forward David Onuorah, who played for the Huskies in ’17-’18 as a grad transfer. Onuorah plays for FOG Næstved, of the Basketligaen, Denmark’s top basketball league.

SB Nation’s Banner on the Beltway blog honored the contributions of former Columbia guard Kyle Castlin, who provided a late season spark for Xavier during his grad transfer season.

Community News Service profiled Princeton senior Myles Stephens, recounting him bumping into Pete Carril (literally) before beginning his Tiger career and discussing his senior thesis on the socioeconomic impact of Negro League Baseball on integration in America.

Community News Service also profiled Penn sophomore forward Chrissy DiCindio, who missed all of the 2017-18 season with a back injury and got to see her first game action this past season. DiCindio and coach Mike McLaughlin are interviewed, discussing the challenges of being a reserve and the highlights of taking advantage of the Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program.

Brown senior Taylor Will earned a Distinguished Student-Athlete Award from the Rhode Island Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (RIAIAW).  The RIAIAW recognizes distinguished female student-athletes competing at any of Rhode Island’s nine intercollegiate athletic institutions.  One award goes to a member of each school based on athletic excellence, academic success, and leadership qualities.

The Dartmouth profiles senior co-captain Cy Lippold, one of the Big Green’s most determined and successful players over the last two seasons.  Looking to break into the coaching ranks, the Ancient Eight may not have seen the last of the 5′ 2″ guard on the hardwood.

Former Brown men’s basketball assistant coach Tyler Simms (2015-2019) has been named the head coach of Clark University (Division III).  The 34-year old Simms, a former student-athlete and assistant coach at Trinity College, will take over from Paul Phillips, who retired at the end of the 2018-19 season after coaching the Cougars for 21 years.  After helping coach the Bears to a top-75 defense this past season, it’s no surprise that Simms will focus his efforts on that side of the ball when he arrives in Worcester.

The Ivy League will have four players on the 2019 Maccabi USA open men’s basketball team as they head to the 15th European Maccabi Games from July 28 through August 7 in Budapest, Hungary.  Jake Silpe (Penn, senior), and Spencer Freedman (Harvard, first-year), as well as brothers Robbie (Harvard, senior) and Michael (Yale, first-year) Feinberg will be a part of the 11 player squad.  In addition, former Columbia men’s basketball Director of Operations Jonathan Safir (2015-2017) will be the assistant coach for the youth’s men’s basketball team at the same tournament.

Looking to build upon its momentum following its run to the 2019 Ivy League Tournament, the Cornell women’s team will add to its roster with Karina Hall.  Hall, a 7-year old from Ithaca, will be paired with the Big Red through Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team.  Karina will officially become a member of the team on Monday, April 22 at 5 p.m. in a special Draft Day celebration at the Hall of Fame Room in Friends Hall.  For the 2019-20 season, she will join the Big Red at practices, games, team dinners, and other special events.