DAN THE MAN: Danny Bodine of Majeski Foundation unloads the ball in recent action in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Last Wednesday, Bodine scored a game-high 14 points to help ninth-seeded Majeski defeat third-seeded Athlete Engineering Institute 45-36 at the Community Park courts as it evened the best-of-three championship series at 1-1. Two days later, Majeski edged AEI 45-43 in overtime in game three to earn the title. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Hampered by a sore arm, Danny Bodine was sidelined for a couple of playoff games in late July as Majeski Foundation advanced to the best-of-three championship series in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.
But with ninth-seeded Majeski, which is comprised of players from the The College of New Jersey’s men’s hoops team, having lost 50-41 to third-seeded Athlete Engineering Institute in game one of the series on August 1, Bodine wasn’t about to sit out game three on Wednesday night at the Community Park courts with his team on the brink of elimination.
“It is a win or go home situation, that is all the motivation you need,” said Bodine, a 6’9, 190-pound native of Langhorne who was second on TCNJ in scoring (12.1) last winter and first in rebounding (7.3). “You just come out and punch them in the mouth early and keep that lead the whole time.”
Shrugging off the pain from his sprained elbow, Bodine delivered some blows to AEI, tallying a game-high 14 points, including four 3-pointers as Majeski pulled out a 45-36 victory to stay alive in the series.
“Our team was moving the ball, it was our team getting good looks for us,” said Bodine, reflecting on his performance. “I am confident in anyone shooting and they are confident in me shooting. Whatever shot we can get, I will take it.”
Playing with their backs to the wall, Majeski produced a stifling defensive effort, building a 24-15 lead at halftime.
“Last game we weren’t talking as much, we weren’t moving as much,” said Bodine in assessing the team’s defensive intensity. “This game we were really locked in, talking to each there. We knew where each other were so it was it nice.”
In the second half, a gritty AEI squad drew to within 38-34 but Majeski was able to hold off that charge.
“It is a good team so you have to expect that run back,” said Bodine. “Basketball is a game of runs, I expect that. We had to meet that and then hit them back and that is what we did.”
The depth of Majeski which saw it subbing in four or five players at a time helped wear down AEI.
“We are a young team so we can get up and down the floor a little bit,” said Bodine. “Having five in and five out definitely helps to get a blow and keep everyone fresh. We trust everyone on the bench to come in and play their best.”
One of the best moments of the evening for Bodine came when he jammed home a dunk with 2:30 left to put Majeski up 43-34.
“It was nice; it was something to cap the game off,” said Bodine.
Two days later, Majeski edged AEI 45-43 in overtime in game three to earn the title, their first in the summer league since 2016. While Bodine was hoping for a championship, just being on the court with his TCNJ teammates was a bonus.
“I like this more for team camaraderie and togetherness more than anything,” said Bodine. “A chip would be huge for us but just playing with my guys in the summer is great. Seeing family faces two times a week is nice.”