The 2008 Presidential Election was a hallmark one in the history of the United States that attracted many first-time voters to the polls, including one St. John’s basketball star.
Anthony Mason, Jr. flew home to Tennessee on Monday so that he could vote in his home state, something he found very important.
Like many young voters, Mason feels strongly about promoting changes in the most significant issues impacting the United States.
“[This election] is very important to me, especially with everything the United States is going through with the problems in the economy and the Middle East,” Mason said.
One of the biggest changes Mason’s vote has made so far was on the practice schedule of the Red Storm this week.
“His mother really wanted him to come home for this election,” head coach Norm Roberts said. “He wanted to fly home sooner for the early ballots, but it conflicted with our practice schedule.”
Roberts switched the team’s off day from Wednesday to Tuesday so that Mason would only miss one practice. He felt Mason’s absence on Monday presented an opportunity to work with his supporting cast in preparing them to take the floor Nov. 14 against Long Island University.
“We tried to find the best day for him to travel home and it works out because he doesn’t miss that much practice time,” Roberts said.
Mason’s eagerness to become part of the election has caught the attention of his teammates, many also first-time voters.
According to Roberts, many of them share Mason’s enthusiasm about the Presidential Election, but couldn’t make the timely arrangements to fly home. Despite this, Roberts is certain they too will cast their ballots.
Mason indicated that he had a strong passion for having a hand in electing Barack Obama, and that passion was later confirmed by Roberts.
However, he did not use his prominent status in the St. John’s community to actively campaign for his candidate the way other students on campus have.
“He feels good about his candidate and just wants to be part of the process,” Roberts said.