Only 10 days after their senior season came to an end, Josh Duinker and Francis-Cedric Martel returned to the courts to participate in the Pi Beta Phi sorority’s annual spring philanthropy event, “Ballin for Books.”
Martel, Duinker and their team, “JD, Fran and the Managers,” left the gym Friday night as champions of the 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a different environment than their typical night at the Robins Center.
“Playing college basketball is very stressful,” Martel said. “So it was good to just be able to play and have fun.”
Meredith Schlussel, the Pi Beta Phi vice president of philanthropy, said that it was a pleasant surprise to her and all of her sorority sisters to see varsity basketball players signed up to play in the tournament.
“It was really nice to have the basketball players come out,” Shaye Ellis, a sophomore Pi Phi, said. “Everyone seemed to really enjoy watching them play.”
Schlussel said that she didn’t know what to expect, but that their participation added to the atmosphere of the night.
“A bunch of the girls are cheerleaders, managers or just friends of the players, so I’m guessing they heard about it from one of them,” Schlussel said.
Hundreds turned out to watch the tournament, which took place in the Weinstein Center. There were 32 total teams in the tournament, in the men’s and women’s bracket, from many different organizations on campus. Pi Phi’s own, the “Pi Beta Ballers,” came away with the women’s championship.
“I think it was awesome that more than just Greeks participated,” Virginia House, a junior Pi Phi, said. “It was probably the biggest turnout that we have ever had.”
Members of the sorority had been tabling all week to advertise and accept donations for their national philanthropy, “First Book.” Including the donations received at the event, more than $600 was raised.
Pi Beta Phi also held a school supply drive for CHAT, Churchill Activities and Tutoring, accepting pens, markers and pencil sharpeners that will be donated to the many CHAT facilities.
“All in all, I feel that it was a very successful event, and I want to thank everyone who came out and supported us,” Schlussel said.
Contact reporter James Riddick at firstname.lastname@example.org