NYU Law wins Deans' Cup fifth year in a row

Ryan Kim ’13 couldn’t believe it. “The shot felt great on the release, but even after I saw the ball drop through the net, the moment didn’t feel real until Patrick Ekeruo ran toward me screaming and lifted me into the air.”

With the score tied at 67 and the game clock winding down, Joey Kaempf (LL.M. ’13) found co-captain Kim open for the three and the 70-67 NYU Law win in the 12th annual Deans’ Cup game on April 11—stunning Columbia and sending the home crowd into a frenzy as the final buzzer sounded. Proceeds from the game help fund public interest law organizations at both NYU and Columbia, with NYU receiving an estimated $20,000 from this year's match.

“It all happened so fast—I was just trying to stay ready,” Kim said of his game-winning shot. “I was just focused on the basket and nothing else.” The students rushed the court as the Violets hoisted Kim up for a victory lap.

Kaempf, the leading scorer, torched Columbia for 21 points and kept NYU in the game throughout the second half. Unselfishly, he was still willing to make the right play on the final possession.

“Ryan’s a great shooter," said Kaempf. "An open shot is better than a contested one, even if I had already made a few before. He lined it up and, from my view, the shot looked good when it left his hands.”

Deans' Cup gameKim and Kaempf credited the intensity and defense of co-captains Patrick Ekeruo ’13 and Peter Ajayi ’13, the toughness of Sherwin Salar ’13, and the hard work of Coach Jay Rosser for the win.

Rosser, now 6-0 in Deans’ Cup games, led the team through two months of practice that included 7:00 a.m. sessions before class.  Among the members was Brandi McNeil ’13 (J.D./M.S.W.), preparing for her fourth Deans’ Cup game.

At halftime NYU led 27-22 when the faculty came out for their annual game. Professor Samuel Rascoff—listed at 7’1” in the program—said the faculty game was unexpectedly high-scoring, considering that the final score was only 4-2 two years ago. Columbia won 18-11.

“Even though the other team came out ahead, it was great fun for our squad,” he said. “All of us who played were thrilled to share the court with the student stars.”

The biggest question of the night was whether current Columbia Law professor and soon-to-be NYU Law dean Trevor Morrison would play in the faculty game. Instead he watched from the sidelines and took the chance to get to know a few NYU students.

NYU Law’s student body came out in large number to support their players. Adam Karman ’15 said he didn’t expect the game to be so close. “I almost left after the opening tip-off. I thought the game was already locked up when NYU came down with the ball, even though it looked like Columbia wanted it more.”

Columbia watched the final moments in shock, visibly deflated after losing their historic fifth straight Deans’ Cup. As NYU Dean Richard Revesz presented the cup to the winning team in the center of the court, many Columbia students lingered in the bleachers before having to take the long subway ride home and wait another year for the chance to bring the Deans’ Cup back uptown.

Continuing the tradition of close games, it was the sixth Deans’ Cup to be decided by three points or less. NYU now leads the all-time series 9-3.

See more photos from the game.

Watch the final moments of this year's Deans' Cup:

Posted on April 19, 2013