NYC Alumni Gather for Bulls Watch Party – UB Now: News and Views for UB Faculty and Staff
UB’s alumni networks span the globe, but the greatest concentration of Bulls funders outside of Buffalo is, arguably, in the New York metro area.
So it’s only fitting that a fanatical squad of alumni would gather Saturday afternoon a few blocks south of Central Park to watch the women’s basketball team take on the Tennessee Lady Volunteers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“We prepare everything,” says Ronald Balter, a 1980 UB graduate who was inducted into the Dr. and Mrs. Edmond J. Gicewicz Family Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 for his longtime support of the ‘UB Athletics.
The watch party will be held at All Stars Sports Bar & Grill – formerly Anchor Bar NYC. Despite the name change, wings remain on the menu, which is a tradition whenever the New York alumni network gets together for football and basketball games, Balter says.
For Kelly Sahner, the game is a chance to celebrate both her relationship with UB and Tennessee. Sahner, who resides in the New York area, played college basketball and served as student union president while earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree at UB.
From there, she enrolled in a doctoral program in Tennessee and eventually went to work for legendary coach Pat Summit as the Lady Vols won three NCAA championships in the mid-1990s.
“It’s really, really good,” she said of Saturday’s game. “When they announced the parentheses, my phone started ringing.”
Sahner, who was part of the student government team that helped raise tuition to support athletic programs at UB, says the growth of the women’s team — and the athletic program as a whole — has been impressive.
“I look at the team now and I’m happy to see where they are,” she said.
Saturday’s game is the latest in a string of successes for UB’s women’s basketball program, which has now appeared in four of the last seven NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2018.
Coupled with recent NCAA Tournament victories by the men’s basketball team and three consecutive bowl games for the football team from 2018-2020, UB’s prowess in big-money sports is helping to build pride and the spirit of the alumni, as evidenced by the launch of True Blue, UB’s new spirit campaign.
“I think it’s growing,” says Balter, who is a member of the UB Alumni Association’s executive committee and a regional alumni leader. “Our parties have grown over the years.”
Also organizes and attracts other alumni to Saturday’s Watch Party in Manhattan: Bradley Anhouse, who graduated in 2011 and is a regional alumni leader; Matt Cohen, a 2008 graduate who serves on the UB Alumni Association Board of Directors and as Regional Alumni Officer; and Durval Morgan, a 2008 graduate and regional alumni leader.
Locally, Saturday’s official watch party will be at the Anchor Bar, 4300 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.