St. Peter’s Peacocks honored with parade, keys to Jersey City, for historic March Madness run


The St. Peter’s men’s basketball team was honored with a parade and keys to Jersey City for their historic March Madness run that saw them score three upsets in a row, making them the first 15 seed to reach the Elite 8 round of the tournament.

By Daniel Ulloa and John Heinis/Hudson County View

After about a five-block parade down John F. Kennedy Boulevard, that saw students, alumni, public safety, and even pets rocking Peacock paraphernalia, a short program took place outside of the university between Montgomery and Glenwood Avenues on JFK Boulevard.

“The world has learned what St. Peter’s Peacocks can do if given the chance. This is what I will remember as the greatest moment in my time here,” SPU President Eugene Cornacchia said on stage outside the university this afternoon.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who graduated from St. Peter’s in 1976, really got the crowd going during his remarks.

“It’s great to be back in Peacock nation Jersey City. As an alumni of St. Peter’s, I love going up to my colleagues in the United States Senate from Kentucky and say how about those Peacocks?,” he began.

“All of a sudden United States senators who only used to come to talk to me about a vote or about foreign relations said, Where is Saint Peter’s? Well folks, it’s here in Jersey City,” Menendez said to loud applause from the thousands on hand.

He also called their streak where they upset Kentucky, Murray State, and Purdue “spectacular,” commending the young student athletes for making their “hard work, grit, and determination” pay off.

Menendez added that he had two SPU flags flown over the U.S. Capitol and presented one to Cornacchia and the other to standout senior forward KC Ndefo.

Former SPU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Shaheen Holloway riled the crowd by explaining several times “Peacock nation: we made history!”

Holloway accepted the head coach position at his alma matter, Seton Hall University, yesterday, but that didn’t seem to put a damper on anyone’s mood today.

“We couldn’t make history without you guys. You guys are a big part of it. This is just a great moment. Thank you, thank you guys,” Ndefo said.

His teammates echoed that sentiment during their remarks.

“This is a special moment man. This is what we all dreamed about. Nothing is impossible guys. Don’t let nobody tell you you can’t do it because it’s their opinion. Prove them that you can do it,” junior foward Fouseeyni Drame said.

“This is amazing everyone. This is amazing. We’re so happy to be here right now. We’re so happy with what we accomplished. Make no mistake, none of it would have been possible without everybody here,” junior guard Doug Edert said to the crowd.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop thanked Holloway for his contributions to the team and wished him the best in his new gig.

He presented him with a proclamation, while Cornacchia received a large key to the city. Each SPU player received a smaller version that fit inside a jewelry box.

“You captured the country’s hearts and minds and we are thankful for that. Today is a day where officially recognize the Peacocks as the best, best, best Jersey City has to offer,” the mayor added.

Along with the SPU men’s basketball team, local high school sports teams and bands from Jersey City, Bayonne, and Hoboken marched along with at least a dozen local dignitaries.

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