Anthony Glover stood on top of the scorer’s table, jubilantly waving a towel above his head, staring out across the court at a sea of red and white.
Marcus Hatten was somewhere in that mass of St. John’s faithful, smiling and laughing, hugging family members in celebration.
How far they have come as members of the Red Storm was typified in their moments after St. John’s had won the National Invitational Tournament.
Glover is the full-blooded senior, four years as a member of the team, two years as a captain.
His road to a championship has been up and down since before he even set foot on campus.
He committed to the program during his senior year, when he was the best high school player in the state of New York.
Fran Fraschilla was the coach at the time, but upon his dismissal, Glover could have wavered on his commitment as the Athletic Department searched for a new coach.
He stood by his decision.
“His commitment to St. John’s is incredible,” St. John’s Head Coach Mike Jarvis said. “Five years ago he committed to St. John’s when St. John’s did not have a coach and he didn’t care who the coach was.”
Then, he didn’t qualify academically and was unable to play as a freshman.
He had to sit at home in the Bronx and watch as St. John’s came within a basket of making the Final Four, wondering how he possibly could have made a difference, possibly have been the difference in that heartbreaking loss to Ohio State during the 1999 NCAA Tournament.
Glover was ready once the 1999-2000 season began, and as it was drawing to a close, he was a vital reason that the Red Storm were 22-7.
In the final seconds of the Big East Tournament semifinal against Miami, he knocked down two free throws, giving St. John’s a one-point victory and propelling his team to the finals and ultimately a Big East Tournament title.
His second season was one of disarray, a 14-15 record with no postseason. His third year, 20 wins and back in the NCAA Tournament.
The only question was if he would return, pending graduation, which would give him his fourth year back.
“Everybody said he wouldn’t graduate in four years and now he is working on his master’s degree,” Jarvis said. “If there is one guy that I am most proud of, it’s Anthony.”
Standing at six-foot-five, Glover was forced to play the center position, going up against opponents usually a half-foot taller.
He did that for four seasons and never complained.
He was a blue-collar, hard-hat wearing, lunch pail carrying type of player.
He never missed a game in four seasons and missed the start in just two of those 128 games.
Glover is one of just eight Red Storm players to score 1,400 points and grab 750 rebounds, showing his dedication on both ends of the court.
“I had a great college career,” Glover said. “It was a great experience. I played with some great people. I lived a full college life. There were ups and downs, but overall I can say I’m a champion.”
Hatten came to St. John’s in almost a whirlwind of secrecy, but as he leaves two seasons later, there is no mistaking him now.
There were two definitive things that were known about Hatten before his arrival.
He was a junior college transfer from the same school that had produced Bootsy Thornton, who had been a main contributor for the Red Storm in his two seasons, and that Hatten, a Baltimore native like Thornton, had broken all his junior college records.
From his first game last season until he received the Most Valuable Player of the NIT, Hatten took Red Storm fans on a whirlwind ride.
“Coming here, having the opportunity to play in New York, with the media hype being what it is and how the fans react to you – I though it was a perfect fit,” Hatten said. “I knew coming in it was going to be a tough job, but I’m a guy who likes challenges like that. I was willing and ready to take it. It didn’t matter what I had to do to show that I could play.”
Armed with a killer instinct and an array of circus shots that would amaze even the Ringling Bros., Hatten produced a bevy of memories.
Just this past season alone, from his 44-point performance against Rutgers to his game-winning free throw against Duke, the 6-1 guard mesmerized all who watched, including those around him every day in practice.
“It’s bad because he’s such a special player, but it’s good because the last memory I will have of him is up on the ladder, cutting down the net, with that big smile on his face,” Jarvis said. “Marcus will be with us forever.
“Players never, ever leave. Pieces and parts of Marcus Hatten will be here forever,” he added.
He leaves an impact in the Big East, leaving as the conference’s scoring leader at 23 points per game.
He leaves an impact on the St. John’s record books.
And most of all, he leaves an impact on the memories of SJU fans, visions that compare to some of the greatest to don a Red Storm uniform.
Their college careers are over now.
What a way to end it.
Jason Della Rosa is a senior journalism major who will miss covering Marcus and Anthony on a daily basis. Send comments to [email protected]