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Mercer Men’s Basketball Inspired by Special Guest


West Windsor, N.J. -- It’s not every day that the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) men’s basketball team walks into the gym for practice and sees a relative of the President of the United States waiting to talk to them. But that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday, Oct. 28 for the MCCC Vikings. Craig Robinson, brother of First Lady Michelle Obama and brother-in-law of President Barack Obama, came to meet with the players and observe the team's practice session. Robinson was a teammate of MCCC Head Coach Howard Levy at Princeton University and has kept in contact with his former classmate and friend. 

Robinson addressed the team briefly before practice, emphasizing the importance of academics in life and how far he and his sister were able to go because they cared about education and worked hard in school.  Robinson encouraged the players to put in the time -- not just on the basketball court, but in the classroom.  And, he stressed that it’s not just a matter of showing up for class. It's about making a real effort, participating daily, and interacting with your professor.

Craig Robinson reminds MCCC basketball players to get the job done in the classroom as well as on the court.

It’s a message that Coach Levy is hoping will resonate with his players, whose season spans both the fall and spring semesters and presents them with the ongoing challenge of balancing basketball and academics. 

While Coach Levy is focused on the season about to begin, he always sends off graduating players with high hopes for their success. Several times he has brought his alumni together for celebratory dinners after they have earned their bachelor's degrees from four-year colleges.

For the second year, Levy will be assisted by MCCC basketball alumnus Stan Tuchez ('12), who graduated from Rutgers University in 2014. A former assistant coach of Levy's is alumnus Miles Smith ('07), who went on to graduate from Johnston State College and this year has returned to the Vermont college as assistant athletics director and head coach for men's basketball. (Smith assisted at MCCC during the 2011-12 season, then assisted at The College of New Jersey and launched a new basketball program at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa.)

The Vikings open their 2015-16 on Saturday, Nov. 7 with a 2 p.m. game at Valley Forge.  Their home opener is Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. 

Last season the Vikings were 23-4 and reached the Region 19 Championship.

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