FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2017
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122
HEAD COACH AND PLAYERS FROM BERKELEY COLLEGE
“We’re trying to change their attitude about the importance of school, getting a good education and playing the game that you love.” – Chris Christiansen, Head Coach, Berkeley College Men’s Basketball Team
Photo Caption A: Steve Overmyer of CBS 2 News New York (left) interviews Chris Christiansen, Head Coach, Berkeley College Men’s Basketball team, about the Berkeley Knights’ record-breaking season.
The Berkeley College Men’s Basketball team has been garnering attention within the sports world after winning its third consecutive United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship and ending its season with a 53-game winning streak. The record-breaking season has led to the team’s players and Chris Christiansen, Head Coach, appearing on a variety of television and radio programs.
Most recently Coach Christiansen appeared on CBS 2 News New York with Jeffrey Mejia of the Bronx, NY, Berkeley Knights Co-Captain, and Dondre Simmons of Manhattan, NY, who plays a guard position on the team. Speaking with sportscaster Steve Overmyer, the players and coach discussed how the team’s determination to succeed extends beyond the court. “Everybody has their own specific story,” said Mr. Mejia. “That’s what we use to motivate us, all the adversity and sacrifice we go through. We combine it and put it on the court.”
“The story of Berkeley College goes deeper than just victories —
Click here to watch Coach Christiansen and the Berkeley Knights players’ appearance on CBS 2 News New York.
During a live broadcast on BRIC TV, a community network based in Brooklyn, NY, Coach Christiansen was joined by Berkeley Knights all-stars Stephon Jennings of Manhattan, NY, and Massiah Merritt and Johnnie Green, both of Brooklyn. The three players and head coach, who were honored during the USCAA Basketball National Championship Banquet on February 28, 2017, spoke with Micheal Bellamy, senior sports producer, about the team’s mindset going into overtime in the USCAA Championship game. “These young men fight with adversity all their lives,” said Coach Christiansen. “That overtime is what I called the ‘time of adversity.’”
Click here to watch Coach Christiansen and the Berkeley Knights players’ appearance on BRIC TV.
Photo Caption B: Head Coach Chris Christiansen (second from right) and players from the Berkeley College Men’s Basketball team show BRIC TV’s Micheal Bellamy, senior sports producer (second from left), the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship trophy the team won for the third consecutive year. All-star Berkeley Knights players (left to right) include Johnnie Green, Massiah Merritt, and Stephon Jennings.
“Any of the programs competing in March Madness would
Coach Christiansen and Mr. Jennings also appeared on 77 WABC Radio’s “Sports Desk with Mike Gunzelman.” The forward/center spoke to Mike Gunzelman, host and WABC correspondent, about the determination and hard work that went into the team’s recent achievements. “It’s all about self-discipline,” said Mr. Jennings. “That’s something that Coach always implements at the beginning of the season. The streak really wasn’t on my mind … I just wanted to take it one game at a time, and the ultimate goal was winning the championship.”
Click here to listen to Coach Christiansen and Mr. Jennings’ interview on “Sports Desk with Mike Gunzelman.”
“It’s such a positive story, especially for the Tri-State area
Earlier this month, Coach Christiansen and Mr. Mejia appeared on Newark Public Radio station WBGO 88.3’s “SportsJam.” Speaking with Doug Doyle, host and WBGO News Director, the two shared their own personal journeys that led them to Berkeley College. “It’s more like a family … the atmosphere in Berkeley and the basketball team,” said Mr. Mejia. Portions of the interview also appeared on-air during the station’s weekly news magazine program, WBGO Journal.
“53 wins in a row is just a small part of the story of Berkeley College basketball.”
“My father used to say to me ‘I want you to feel uncomfortable before you feel comfortable,’” said Coach Christiansen in the interview with WBGO 88.3. “We’re changing what they are doing; we’re trying to rearrange their value systems from the neighborhoods they’ve come from. We’re trying to change their attitude about the importance of school, getting a good education and playing the game that you love.”
Click here to listen to Coach Christiansen and Mr. Mejia’s interview on “SportsJam.”
Photo Caption C: Student-athlete Jeffrey Mejia (left) and Chris Christiansen, Head Coach (right), of the Berkeley College Men’s Basketball team talk with Doug Doyle, WBGO News Director and host of the “SportsJam” podcast, about the Berkeley Knights’ record-breaking season.
The Berkeley Knights became the first team to win three straight USCAA crowns, outlasting the No. 6-seeded Nittany Lions of Penn State York by a score of 80-76 in the title game of the championship contest, held on March 5, 2017, at the campus of Penn State Fayette. The team ended its unblemished 2016-2017 season at 29-0, extending its program winning streak to 53 consecutive games.
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A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 8,000 students – including more than 550 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.
Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are five campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For four consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.
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To view a high resolution version of the above photos, go to:
To watch Head Coach Chris Christiansen, Jeffrey Mejia, and Dondre Simmons’ appearance on CBS 2 News New York, click here.
To watch Head Coach Chris Christiansen, Stephon Jennings, Massiah Merritt, and Johnnie Green’s appearance on BRIC TV, click here.
To hear Head Coach Chris Christiansen and Stephon Jennings’ appearance on 77 WABC Radio’s “Sports Desk with Mike Gunzelman,” click here.
To hear Head Coach Chris Christiansen and Jeffrey Mejia’s appearance on WBGO 88.3’s “SportsJam,” click here.