UNION, NJ — The second Kean KUBS Basketball Invitational is set for Saturday, Jan. 13, at Kean University’s Harwood Arena in Union.
KUBS stands for Kean University Building Strong urban communities. The program is designed to introduce to students higher education through athletics.
The Hillside High School boys and girls basketball teams will be involved and playing in the final two of four games scheduled.
The games include:
• Trenton High School vs. Newark’s West Side High School girls at 12:30 p.m.;
• Ewing High School vs. Newark’s West Side High School boys at 2:30 p.m.;
• Hillside High School vs. Science Park High School girls at 4:30 p.m.; and
• Hillside High School vs. Science Park High School boys at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for students.
Schools that participated in the first one last year were Hillside, Ewing, Trenton and Medford’s Lenape High School.
As New Jersey’s urban research university, Kean works to address the underrepresentation of minority and low-income youths in higher education, athletics, the arts and STEM.
“As Kean positions itself as an urban anchor institution in New Jersey, we are creating opportunities for students in urban communities to take part in impactful scholarship, service learning and community programs,” said Kean University President Lamont O. Repollet in last year’s first press release. “KUBS will allow our Kean student-athletes to make a difference by working with and mentoring young people from urban communities.”
The Hillside boys basketball team, guided by head coach Devonne Giles, began the week at 4-5 overall and in sixth place at 1-4 in the Union County Conference’s seven-team Mountain Division.
Hillside, 2-2 at home and 2-3 on the road, was scheduled to play at division rival Rahway High School on Tuesday, Jan. 9. The next Comets game is Thursday, Jan. 11, at home against Abraham Clark High School, at 7 p.m.
Hillside then closes this week’s competition with the game on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m., against Science Park at Kean.
The Comets began the season with a convincing 66-33 Mountain Division win at Abraham Clark on Thursday, Dec. 14.
Through nine games the team’s leading scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker is senior Paul Onyeagocha with 124 points, 79 rebounds and 22 blocks.
Senior guard Anthony Duran and senior forward Dantagnon Siddons lead in assists with 27 and 15, respectively.
The Hillside girls basketball team, led by head coach Jania Sims, began the week at 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the Mountain Division. Hillside’s lone win prior to its division game on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Plainfield High School was a 60-27 triumph against Malcolm X. Shabazz High School at the Brick City Showcase at Essex County College in Newark, on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Hillside is scheduled to play at division rival Union Catholic High School on Thursday, Jan. 11, at 4 p.m., before facing Science Park on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 4:30 p.m., at Kean.
On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the Comets sought to snap a six-game losing streak at Plainfield.
Through eight games, the team’s leading scorer, rebounder, shot-blocker and in steals is senior guard Precious Onyeagocha with 118 points, 53 rebounds, seven blocks and 36 steals.
Leading in assists is freshman Yazmyn Scruggs with 17. Onyeagocha also leads in three-point baskets made with 10 and successful free throws made with 14.
Kean’s Division of Transformational Learning and External Affairs and Kean Athletics created KUBS, which will also expand access to “niche” sports, such as lacrosse and golf, tennis and field hockey.
“The KUBS program took its first steps at Kean two years ago, with a pilot event that brought approximately 100 black and Latino boys to Kean for a lacrosse clinic,” said Joseph Youngblood, senior vice president for transformational learning and external affairs at Kean. “The event was a success.”