Unsung heroes of Malvern’s sports teams, basketball managers contribute to the team’s success just as much as the players on the court.
Malvern Prep basketball managers have been gaining more and more fame with each passing year, and are now seen as an integral part of the team’s dynamic.
But it has not also been that way.
“It has definitely grown,” head varsity basketball coach John Harmatuk said. “Each year, I try to find the guys, that more than anything else, love Malvern Prep.”
Ever since he became involved in Malvern, Harmatuk has known the importance of having those behind the scenes contributions that RunMP.
“The most important thing that my first coach taught me was that you have to have good managers,” Harmatuk said. “It is a really big part of my coaching philosophy to have these people around the program.”
The growing popularity and model that Harmatuk goes on is that of Mike Higgins ’14.
“What [Harmatuk’s predecessor] Coach Rullo had was one really strong manager in Mike Higgins, and he is now at Notre Dame working for the basketball team,” Harmatuk said. “There was the model about how you want your head manager to be. And that started to build.”
Since then, Harmatuk has had a strong cast of character to help the team run. These people this year include seniors Jerry Curran, Rudy Gabriel, Mike Mingey, and juniors John Powers, Thomas Sweeney, Nate Doherty, and Griff Kennedy.
Specifically, these managers do the little things that go unnoticed; but in reality, are extremely important. These go from participating in practice to making the games run easier.
“They all have different jobs,” Harmatuk said. “From a social media presence, to running the games with the clock and the book, filming the games, setting up and cleaning up afterwards.”
John Powers, younger brother of 1000 point scorer Will Powers ’16, has loved every second managing.
“After Freshman basketball, I decided I did not want to play basketball anymore but still wanted to be a part of the team,” he said. “Since my brother was on the team I had to stay late everyday, Harmatuk suggested that I try managing.”
Powers and other managers have fully put their heart in trying to make the basketball team the best in the Inter-Ac. They do this by doing the little things.
“The priority of the managers on a daily basis is to make practice run smoothly by doing the little things that help the coaches,” he said. “Our responsibilities come game day are different with every person. For myself, Nate Doherty, and Jerry Curran, we spend our time at the scorers table where Nate keeps the book, Jerry runs the video board, and I run the clock.”
According to Powers, each person has own little niche and contribution to the overall morale of the program.
“Everyone of the managers brings something different to the table each day to make this team as good as possible,” he said.
Of all the managers, it would not be the same without Head Manager Jerry Curran.
Curran is seen as a constant force when it comes to Malvern Basketball. He is always working with the team, whether it is coming up with music playlists, controlling the video board on game day, or representing RunMP on social media.
“Specifically, Jerry Curran is essential in taking the culture we have in Basketball and sharing that with other students who did not make the basketball team, but still want to be a part of it,” Harmatuk said.
“I love being a part of the basketball program,” Curran said. “It is the best job in the world and if we keep on trusting Harmatuk’s process, we will be Inter-Ac champs in no time.”
His presence is not only seen by the coaches, but also with the players.
“It’s the small things that go unnoticed,” varsity captain Raymond Baran ’17 said. “Without the help from him, a lot of stuff would simply not get done. Jerry has done a great job with the managers.”
Overall, the managers are seen as a constant good to the team, and Curran benefits the team by his unique motivational attitude.
“I benefit the team by bringing a positive attitude to everything I do,” Curran said. “Even if it is getting the water — I try to #addvalue.”
But, before everything else, Harmatuk notices and appreciates everything these students do for the program, and their growing success.
“It has become something that kids want to do — and they are invaluable to our program,” he said. “They make what is a tough basketball practice and a long season easier. They help bring a little bit of levity to it.”
All across campus, they are seen having fun — and they even made a video introducing themselves on YouTube. It’s worth checking out.