The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight (JBS) is a program developed by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) in 2008 to bring greater awareness of Jesuit education and its shared mission through the more than 80 games played by men's and women's basketball teams every season. The nation's 27 Jesuit colleges and universities are part of a global network of 188 institutions of higher learning that are rooted in the traditions of academic excellence, service, and a faith that does justice.
Today, Jesuit institutions boast over 2 million living alumni across the world, including 10% of the United States Congress and basketball legends Bob Cousy (College of the Holy Cross), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown University), Bill Russell (University of San Francisco) and John Stockton (Gonzaga University).
There are a number of ways that institutions can support and promote the JBS program, including:
The possibilities are endless! Contact the AJCU office with any questions: (202) 862-9893 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee Members: Deanna Howes Spiro, Vice President of Communications, AJCU
Joe Lunardi, Broadcaster, Saint Joseph’s University
John Burnes, President, Burnes Creative
Brian Larkin, Manager, Instructional Technology, Santa Clara University
Rory O’Neil, Director of Major Gifts, John Carroll University
#JesuitEducated Men's and Women's Basketball Teams Make History
On Friday, March 25, the Saint Peter's University men's basketball team made history by becoming the first 15-seeded team to advance to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA D-I men's basketball tournament. Just two hours later, the Creighton University women's basketball team advanced to its first Elite Eight matchup of the NCAA D-I women's basketball tournament in program history.
Only two other Jesuit institutions have had teams advance to the Elite Eight round of the women's tournament: Xavier University and Gonzaga University. On the men's side, this year will mark the fifth consecutive year to have a Jesuit team in the Elite Eight, and the first for Saint Peter's. Tomorrow's matchups will also mark the first time that the Elite Eight round has had Jesuit teams in both the men's and women's tournaments.
Help the Peacocks and the Bluejays soar tomorrow night! We invite the AJCU network to show their support for Saint Peter's and Creighton in their upcoming matchups on social media: download our AJCU graphics (available here) and use the hashtag #JesuitEducated in your posts. Follow the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight on Twitter @Jesuit_BBall on Sunday night for live updates in real time.
Saint Peter's vs. North Carolina: Sunday, March 27 (5:05PM ET on CBS)
Creighton vs. South Carolina: Sunday, March 27 (7:00PM ET on ESPN)
Jesuit Basketball Spotlight on Service
In January 2019, student-athletes across the country will participate in the second annual Jesuit Basketball Spotlight on Service. This initiative has been coordinated by the athletic directors at D-II, D-III and NAIA Jesuit schools. To share your schools' events, please write to email@example.com.
JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY
On Friday, December 28, the John Carroll University (JCU) women’s basketball team hosted a service event with Empower Sports, a nonprofit organization based in Cleveland that is committed to providing sports and exercise programs for children and adults with various physical and cognitive disabilities. The JCU athletes engaged in various activities with participants, including relay races, shooting free throws, and playing a large game of basketball together. On Wednesday, January 9, the JCU men’s basketball team hosted St. Martin De Porres, a Catholic coeducational high school located in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood of Cleveland, before playing Heidelberg University. St. Martin’s utilized the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center for an afternoon basketball practice, followed by a clinic with the JCU men’s team. Both teams then attended Chapel Mass together before the JCU game.
LE MOYNE COLLEGE
On Thursday, January 17, the Le Moyne College men's and women's basketball teams will host four teams of special-needs athletes from the Central NY Unified Sports Basketball League, for league games where Le Moyne athletes will serve as referees and assistant coaches, and handle scorers table assignments. The day will conclude with a pizza party for the athletes and their families. All participants will then be invited back to campus for a men's home game on Saturday, February 9, where they will be introduced at half time as special guests. The Le Moyne athletics department will show footage from the service day on their video board to help fans learn more about Unified Sports, which is an international program within the World Special Olympics that serves individuals with intellectual disabilities.
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS
The Loyola University New Orleans men's basketball team recently partnered with the local NBA team, the New Orleans Pelicans, to volunteer during a "Fan Fest." For two days, the student athletes interacted with the Pelicans’ youngest fans by playing an oversized Connect Four game, sponsoring a hair-dying station and temporary tattoo stall, and handing out giveaways as fans entered the arena.
On Tuesday, January 8, the Rockhurst University men's basketball team invited students from nearby Troost Elementary School to campus for a basketball clinic. After the clinic, the students enjoyed a pizza party while the Rockhurst team warmed up for their game that afternoon. During the game, the Troost students cheered for Rockhurst with homemade posters; afterward, they enjoyed receiving autographs and taking a team photo with the Hawks. It was a great day for students from both Rockhurst and Troost! Click here to learn more.
WHEELING JESUIT UNIVERSITY
This month, members of the Wheeling Jesuit University women's basketball team volunteered at the Laughlin Memorial Chapel's "After School Jam" to help local children with homework assignments, followed by fun spent playing games and enjoying conversation during dinner. In a press release, first-year head coach Mike Llanas said, "We pride ourselves in joining with our Jesuit basketball community to give back this week. It was a very fulfilling experience and the whole team can't wait to do it again." Click here to learn more.
JBS PRESS COVERAGE
Highlights from past seasons:
America Magazine: April 3, 2018
The Washington Post: March 31, 2018
USA Today: March 28, 2018