NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Basketball season is starting

The NECC men’s basketball team opens up their season on Nov. 1 and plays their first two games on the road at NHTI and Lincoln College of New England.

However, the season won’t really get going until Veterans Day, Nov. 11, when the Knights play their first home game of the 2014-2015 season against Gateway Community College (Conn). This game kicks off a tough stretch of seven games in 14 days, including conference games against MassBay, Holyoke and Massasoit Community College.

To celebrate Veterans Day this year, NECC is planning to have a ceremony honoring local current and former veterans before the Knights’ home opener. Athletic Director Sue MacAvoy says that NECC student Carli Hamilton will be singing the National Anthem before the game, and she is hoping to get a local high school ROTC program to be the color guard for the ceremony.

There will also be a small ceremony honoring current and former NECC students who are veterans, as well as possibly other local veterans. All NECC students and alumni who are veterans are encouraged to attend the festivities.

MacAvoy also stated that NECC has designed hats with Operation Hat Trick, an organization that helps veterans with both visible and invisible wounds from the battlefield through the sale of OHT branded merchandise. The hats will have the NECC Knights’ logo on the front, and the proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Operation Hat Trick was established in 2007 by Dot Sheehan of New Hampshire, and started as a local community program at the University of New Hampshire. Over the years, it has grown into a nationally recognized program, with over 220 schools from all 50 states adopting the program, most recently NECC.

Teams from Minor League Baseball and the American Hockey League have also joined. Even NHL teams such as the San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Boston Bruins have adopted OHT.

In addition to the Operation Hat Trick fundraiser, the NECC softball team will also be holding a bake sale at the Veterans Day game to raise money for a local charity of their choice.

Planning for this event is still underway and some items on the agenda may change, but it will surely be an exciting day on the NECC Haverhill campus when the Knights play their home opener.