Following a disappointing end to his career on the Hilltop, Georgetown senior quarterback Matt Bassuener was looking forward to a trip home to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving break. A chance to relax with his family, watch his beloved Packers on Turkey Day and rest up for exams was just what the two-year starter needed.

Then the phone rang, and the next thing he knew, the quarterback was on his way to Petersburg, Va., to play in the seventh annual East Coast Bowl last Saturday. Game officials called Bassuener the Tuesday afternoon before to ask if he would be interested in playing for the South team and possibly getting noticed by a pro scout or two.

Bassuener – who has followed his love for football across three countries and two continents during his career – jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Bassuener said in a press release shortly after accepting the invitation. “It’s a chance to play another game, and it’s a chance to see how I can stack up against players from other leagues. I’m happy to have been asked and just hope that I can play well.”

The all-star game – played at Cameron Field in Petersburg – featured players from smaller colleges all over the country, with scouts from several NFL teams in attendance.

Although the North prevailed 35-7, Bassuener hopes the opportunity will help continue his football career.

It was the third straight year that a Hoya has played for the South, and last year, former Georgetown footballer Alex Buzbee (MSB ’07) used the game as a springboard for a professional career with the Washington Redskins.

Numerous other East Coast alumni have gone on to careers in the pros including Cleveland Browns linebacker Kevin Culbert and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Barksdale.

Bassuener was not the only Hoya who was recognized over the past week. Senior fullback Kyle Van Fleet was named the 2007 Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Wednesday, capping an impressive list of post-season honors for the business and management major from Williamsport, Pa. A co-captain this fall, Van Fleet was also named the second team All-Patriot League fullback and was a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy, given each year to college football’s top scholar-athlete. Van Fleet, who will work for Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division in New York next year, was also named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District first team.

“I’d much rather have more wins for the team than the individual awards,” Van Fleet said in a press release. “But it leaves me with some good memories of my career. I came here for the academic opportunities that Georgetown offers and to have the chance to play football. To be recognized by the league on the field and off of it has been a pretty big accomplishment.”

Van Fleet, who has a 3.65 GPA, is the first Hoya to be named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and just the second to win one of the League’s major honors.

“I was thinking when I heard [Wednesday morning] that it is just such an honor,” Van Fleet said. “When you come to Georgetown, you’re at an institution that competes in the Patriot League and against Ivy League schools, and it’s an honor to be named the scholar-athlete of the year. I’m excited. We had a tough year, but it’s a nice way to finish off my career.”

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