ALBANY — Kenny Hasbrouck, front and center, please. Paging Kenny Hasbrouck.
Siena’s junior guard, the first
recruit head coach Fran McCaffery signed to the program, was in the middle of everything during the Saints’ three-game run through the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament.
When it finally came time for the player who pushed Siena to the championship and an NCAA tournament berth to get his MVP award, he needed a little push from a teammate to step forward.
Anyway, he was too busy holding on to the championship trophy to think about individual awards, and that seemed just right.
“Honestly, I had no idea,
because they told me to put the trophy down because I had to get something,” Hasbrouck said. “They named Eddie [Ubiles], Tay [Fisher] and Alex [Franklin] to the tournament team, and I was like, I’m not getting an award then. And Josh [Duell] slapped me on the back of my head and said, ‘You’re MVP.’ And I said, ‘Oh.’ ”
On Monday, Hasbrouck, a 6-foot-3 guard from Capital Heights, Md., scored 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting, had four assists and played point guard in place of Ronald Moore for much of the second half so that McCaffery could keep the red-hot Fisher in the game.
He almost single-handedly lifted Siena past Loyola in the semifinals by scoring 17 points in the second half of a game in which the Saints trailed all night before pulling out a two-point win.
The MAAC leader in steals this season, he was named to the all-conference first team.
He went through a shooting slump midway through the season, but his performance in other areas, like defense, never wavered.
“It’s special. I worked my hardest the whole season,” he said. “I did all the small things, rather than lead the team in scoring.”
Hasbrouck scored 13 points in the second half to help put away Rider. He had seven straight early in the half, including a three-pointer out of a timeout that put the Saints ahead, 52-40, with 11:42 left.
The victory was extra sweet for Hasbrouck because his parents were able to make the trip from Maryland for the tournament.
His father was injured while serving in the military, and has been in a wheelchair since 1990.
“He’s in a wheelchair, and he’s here. A lot of fathers don’t come out, no matter what, and they live down the street,” Hasbrouck said. “He came down eight hours in a car, him and my mom. I just love them to death, and I’m glad they’re here, and thank God for the win.”