Talented basketball players gathered last Saturday at the Carnesecca Arena of St. John’s University in a charity basketball game to honor two former University of Richmond students, Jamie and Paige Malone, as well as Michael Mulhall. The three friends died in a car crash last summer in Long Island, N.Y.
The news horrified the University of Richmond community last summer. Jamie, a recent graduate, was 22. Her sister Paige, 19, was a rising junior and an accounting major. President Ayers called the deaths a horrible tragedy. Their car spun out of control and hit a tree as they drove to work at a day camp for special needs children. Now nearly a year after the accident, a stadium more than half full with 2,000 people, came to honor the lives of Jamie, Paige and Michael.
Former Richmond basketball players Kevin Hovde and Dan Geriot both played in the game on Sunday. Other notable participants included San Antonio Spurs forward Danny Green and St. John’s University’s Justin Burrell. Players from St. John’s University, College of the Holy Cross and Providence College also played in the benefit game.
The game was well put together by Joe Lynch, Paige’s former boyfriend and a good friend to Michael. Hovde said he is a good friend of Michael’s cousin, Julianne Mulhall. When she’d asked Hovde and Geriot to play, Lynch invited them.
“It was no question. We accepted without hesitation,” Geriot said. Although neither Hovde nor Geriot said they knew the Malone sisters personally, they had a number of mutual friends and had met them on several occasions.
Hovde had a closer connection to Michael, who was a recent graduate of the University of Scranton. Hovde’s close friend from his home in Philadelphia knew Michael well.
“It made you stop in your shoes and think that we should be grateful for every day,” Geriot said, recalling when he had heard of the fatal crash.
It was remarkable to see many people show their support for the game, Geriot said. It served as a major fundraiser for a foundation in honor of the Malone sisters. The foundation plans to financially assist people with special needs and families who have experienced tragedies. It will also award scholarships to students at the University of Richmond.
Contact staff writer Keon Monroe at firstname.lastname@example.org