Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Before St. John’s heads out to Denver to meet Gonzaga — the Zags — in a first-round Southeast Regional Thursday night, the school held a pep rally on campus Monday.
Johnnies senior forward D.J. Kennedy is out with a torn ACL, but hopes to serve as an inspiration for his teammates as they make their first Big Dance appearance since 2002, which was vacated by the NCAA.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Kennedy said. “I worked four hard years and not be able to play, final chance I got. But I’m staying positive, lift spirits and I got a lot of trust in my teammates.”
Said St. John’s coach Steve Lavin: “D.J. Kennedy has handled the injury and the disappointment with grace and class and that speaks volumes about his character, and our team has rallied around him. And we understand we wouldn’t be here in the NCAA Tournament without D.J. Kennedy’s contributions. And the greatest way we can pay respect or tribute to him is to continue the journey, to continue to play deep into March.”
If the Red Storm knock off Gonzaga Thursday, they would likely face Jimmer Fredette and BYU in the second round.
St. John’s owns wins over two of the four No. 1 seeds in the Big Dance — Duke and Pittsburgh.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.