On April 7, the 15th annual Deans’ Cup—the charity basketball game between NYU School of Law and Columbia Law School—drew crowds from both institutions to Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus.

Although Columbia was intent on taking back the title that its Greenwich Village rival had reclaimed in 2015, NYU, which has won the Deans’ Cup 10 times, enjoyed a strong start. Within five minutes, the score was 8-2, and the Violets continued to dominate through the first half. NYU Law’s team included Carl Brzorad ’18, Ty Callahan ’16, Cassarah Chu ’18, Trevor Dodge ’16, Mike Feldstein ’16, Justin Gaudenzi ’16, Ben Homes ’17, Steven Leiser-Mitchell ’17, Evan McCants-Goldman ’18, Ben Ritholtz ’18, Richard Schuler ’16, Caitlin Stachon ’17, Geoffrey Weinberg ’16, and William Young ’18.

Despite foot and ankle injuries, Weinberg and Dodge played valiantly, encouraged by many glittery signs and enthusiastic cheers. As the team’s lead scorer, Ritholtz displayed the same prowess and hunger that he had shown playing basketball in his CUNY days.

At halftime, Dean Trevor Morrison; professors Adam Cox, Cynthia Estlund, Russell Gold, Mitchell Kane, and Frank Upham; Dean of Students Jason Belk; Associate Dean for Career Services Irene Dorzback; and NYU Chief Global Technology Officer Thomas Delaney competed in the faculty game. The NYU team lost 10-2, but remained upbeat. Students even caught Dorzback dancing in the audience after the defeat.

Columbia proved a formidable opponent. Having gained traction after their faculty victory, they “somehow tied it up,” Brendan George ’16 explained. “It all happened so fast.” The teams fought fiercely, even racing the ball down the court with six seconds on the clock. Ultimately, what had appeared to be a Violet game at the outset slipped through NYU’s grasp, and the Lions prevailed 75-71.

Cristina Stiller ’17, a Deans’ Cup co-chair, provided perspective on the loss. “Although we may not have won the game, I think we definitely won in team spirit. We sold out of tickets and had an incredible turnout this year, which is especially awesome news because that means we were able to raise even more funding towards public interest work.”

Indeed, the Law School seemed particularly unified. With every three-pointer, every foul, every swish of the net came cheers, jumps, and excitedly waving purple and white pompoms. NYU Law students left Columbia’s campus mobilized, energized, and ready for the next encounter with their opponents.

Posted April 15, 2016