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Friday, October 26, 2012 (Bronx, NY) - On Tuesday, November 6, immediately before the home openers of the 2012-13 season against Rockland Community College, the Hostos Community College Caimans men’s and women’s basketball teams will be honoring some special people in a special way.

The Hostos Athletic Department, along with the Hostos Office of Veterans Affairs, will join Caiman fans, faculty, and staff members not to only greet the teams, but also to salute the men and women in the Hostos family who have served or are now serving in the Armed Forces. This is the fourth year that the ceremony will coincide with the games. It is Hostos’ way of saluting Veterans Day, which is observed throughout the nation on November 11.

Before the tipoffs at 5:30 p.m., there will be a roll call and a performance by an Army band. Charles Uwa, Coordinator of Veterans Affairs helped to establish the office at Hostos four years ago, and says there are over 160 students at the college who have served in the military. The ceremony is intended to honor the service of all veterans at the College. Uwa is originally from Liberia and came to the United States in 2000. Having served in the Royal Marines Corps of the United Kingdom for eight years, he is a veteran himself.

The Veterans Affairs Office at Hostos provides specialized educational support and development-related services for student veterans and reservists. These include academic advisement and tutoring, leadership and mentoring training, career services, child care, counseling, and disability and benefits advisement. This office also works with faculty, staff and the college community as a whole to increase awareness about the services available to students who are veterans and reservists. To learn more, go to: http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/va/.

Men’s Basketball Team Eager to Build on Last Season’s Success

The 2012-13 men’s team is led by second-year coach Dr. Jody King. The team finished last season with 19 wins – the most wins since the Hostos National Championship team in 2005-06.

The Caimans posted the third best record in NJCAA Region 15 and advanced to the Regional Tournament. The team also competed in the CUNYAC Tournament Championship Game.

Academically, the Caimans were also a great success, having a team GPA of 2.60 and an eligibility retention rate of 95% (17 of 18 student athletes).

Women’s Basketball Team on the Way under Coach Vilella

Led by Coach Jessica Vilella, the women’s Caimans squad is looking to build from last season’s 9-17 overall record that brought them a 4-4 finish in conference play, an appearance in the CUNYAC Championship Tournament, and their first appearance in four years at the Regional Tournament. For these accomplishments, Vilella earned the CUNYAC Coach of the Year award.

Coach Vilella has had three different roles in the sports world —as a player, a coach, and an executive.

As an undergraduate at the University of New Haven, Vilella was captain of the women’s basketball team, president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and vice president of the Sports Management Club. Later she played professionally for the Caguas, Puerto Rico team.

In November of 2008, Vilella became the assistant varsity girls’ basketball coach at the Manhattan Center High School for Mathematics and Science. After serving as assistant coach of Hostos Community College’s women’s basketball team in 2009, she took over as head coach last year.

One Caiman to watch this season is Kristina Shcherban, who won the CUNYAC Player of the Year award. Shcherban is also in her first season on the women’s volleyball team.

The Caimans are also taking the lead in another unique program. Athletic Director Carol Kashow has announced that the players started a sportsmanship campaign after a couple of regrettable incidents at other colleges last year. Before the games, Caiman players will hand their opponents pins (orange and blue ones, of course) bearing the words, “Torch of Sportsmanship,” as a way to lead by example. Kashow said she is particularly proud that Hostos is the first CUNY school to establish such a character-building tradition.

For more on Hostos Athletics, go to http://hostosathletics.com/.

Hostos Athletic Department’s remaining schedule of events for 2012-13

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Art Studio
3:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 26, 2013
12:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
5:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 23, 2013
City College
12:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
6:00 p.m.

About Hostos Community College:                                
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in 1970 to over 7,000 students in 2012. The College also serves an additional 12,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.


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