Georgetown athletics has a long and storied tradition laced with championships, champions and memorable moments. And we’re not talking about beer pong titles.

Despite the fact that you probably just arrived at campus and have a knowledge of Georgetown sports that barely extends beyond Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson, there is plenty worth knowing about Hoya sports these days.

For starters, Georgetown brought home the national championship last year. Yeah, I know it wasn’t in men’s basketball, but there are other teams on the Hilltop. Namely, sailing which won Georgetown’s first national championship since Pat Ewing and John Thompson raised the trophy in 1984.

And it doesn’t stop there (which is good, because sailing isn’t too much of a spectator sport). Hoya men’s basketball is once again good, while lacrosse and track are perennial powerhouse squads. Football has taken a big step up to the Patriot League and is on its way to becoming a I-AA power. Even baseball isn’t as bad as it used to be, going 7-19 in Big East play last year after going a combined 3-48 in conference play the previous two seasons (which can be officially classified as “not good”).

Georgetown also has solid soccer, crew, field hockey and volleyball programs, but I am not well versed enough on these teams to make even mildly logical statements on how they will do this year.

Men’s basketball is Georgetown’s money sport, and it is the sport that garners the most attention from the student body. That’s why you have to board a yellow school bus and ride for a half hour to get to downtown to MCI Center instead of walking 10 minutes to a beautifully renovated McDonough Gymnasium that doesn’t actually exist. If you haven’t been to cDonough, it’s a cross between your high school gym and a miniature airplane hanger, with bad acoustics and uncomfortable seats.

The outlook for the team is bright after a Sweet 16 appearance in last year’s NCAA tournament, even though the squad was dealt a blow by the surprising transfer of talented shooting guard Demetrius Hunter. Although lacking some of the height and experience of last season’s team, the Hoyas should nonetheless compete for the Big East championship.

Senior point guard Kevin Braswell will be heavily relied upon for leadership and maturity, while sophomore power forward Mike Sweetney will have to develop at both ends of the court with opponents now focusing on the talented big man. The hole left by Hunter at the two spot will likely be the Achilles heel of the team, although there are a number of talented but young players who can step up into that role.

This should make for an entertaining season, and there’s even the possibility that December’s schedule won’t be littered with Grambling State, Nichols State and Morgan State. (I’m not up on my current events, but I don’t remember Grambling, Nichols and Morgan being admitted to the Union.) Instead, teams such as Georgia, Virginia, UCLA and South Carolina will likely be found on this year’s non-conference schedule.

Once basketball season ends (hopefully later rather than sooner) and the oppressive heat slowly winds its way to D.C., the lacrosse fields of the Hilltop are where you’ll find Georgetown’s best teams. Although it would be great to watch Georgetown’s top-notch track and field teams, our substantially abysmal facilities prevent the university from hosting meets.

Georgetown lacrosse has joined the NCAA’s elite on both the men’s and women’s sides, with the men making it to at least the NCAA tournament quarterfinals three of the last four years, while the women were national runners-up this past season, losing to the champion Maryland Terrapins in double overtime. Last spring was far and away the most successful in the history of the women’s program and led to coach Kim Simons being named Coach of the Year, while seniors Sheehan Stanwick, Caitlin McLean and Bowen Holden were named Attacker, Defender and Goalie of the Year, respectively.

Both teams lost substantial talent to graduation, although the talent will no doubt continue to flow in via strong recruiting classes. In addition, the men’s team welcomes back a pair of former All-Americans this season, Matt Rienzo and Scott Urick, who won’t be suiting up but will instead be stalking the sidelines under the tutelage to Head Coach Dave Urick.

No matter what your favorite sport is, be it soccer, football, basketball, lacrosse or beer pong, go out and support your fellow Hoyas. They’re the ones out running and lifting at 7 a.m. while you’re sleeping through your 10:15 class, and have earned and deserve your support. Take a break from Busch Light, or God forbid the library, and catch some of Georgetown’s games.

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