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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 1, 2017

MAHWAH, N.J. – The Ramapo College men’s basketball team enjoyed one of the best seasons in program history, highlighted by a buzzer-beating winning shot that earned them the conference title and propelled the team into the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

Not a moment of the team’s success was lost on the enthusiastic Roadrunner supporters who packed the Bill Bradley Arena throughout the season.

But perhaps the loudest cheers were heard off campus, just a few miles down the road at Brandywine Living, a provider of residential care and services for seniors and a Business Partner of Ramapo College. After learning of the team’s incredible start to the season – the Roadrunners compiled a 14-0 record before suffering its first loss – the Brandywine residents “adopted” the team. They “live-streamed” the tournament games in the facility’s community room, and wore Ramapo sweatshirts, hoisted giant foam fingers and held basketballs in support.

They even sipped a specially-created cocktail dubbed the “Ramapo Roadrunner” and became the unofficial cheering squad, much to the delight of the team and the coaching staff, who recently paid the residents a visit.

“It was a tremendous experience at the Brandywine assisted living home for both my players and me,” said Head Men’s Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director Chuck McBreen. “We were all very thankful for their support throughout the season and we were glad we could go there and thank them personally for that support.”

However, it was more than a one-shot meet-and-greet visit, McBreen stated.

“My players now realize how much of a positive impact they were able to make, not just on campus but the entire community,” he said. “It brought great pleasure to all of us as we were able to bring a smile to their faces and make their day.”

The Brandywine residents were impressed by the players and their coach and, after chatting and taking photos, held their own Q&A session, including asking about the team’s off-season practice routines and where the players grew up.

“The residents are still raving about how nice the players and the coach were,” said Brianna Fuellhart of Brandywine Living at Mahwah. “There were a lot of comments, like, ‘Wow, look how tall they are’ and ‘What polite young men!’ It was a wonderful visit.”

The Brandywine residents are already looking forward to next season, Fuellhart said, and were invited to sit front row at a Roadrunners game at the Bradley Center.

“I am amazed at the way our Ramapo College student-athletes just get it. They always find time during their busy schedules to perform community service and reach out to those less fortunate,” said Director of Athletics Harold Crocker. “Every athletic team has been involved in community service projects all year long, culminated by our most recent partnership with Special Olympics at our track and field event where our swim team led the way. Hopefully we will continue to build on these and other relationships and keep ‘community service’ an important component of our student-athletes’ lives.”

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state's premier public liberal arts college. Ranked among the top colleges in the region by College Choice and recognized by, among others, U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Colleges of Distinction and, also designated by Victory Media as a "Military Friendly College," Ramapo College is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor's degrees in the arts, business, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.

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