Fran Rafferty (@21Franchise)
(Ed. Note: Cabrini forward Fran Rafferty has been writing for CoBL about his senior season, which ended in the NCAA Tournament last weekend. This is his final blog entry of his collegiate career.)
Hey everybody how’s it going? It’s sad to say, but this will be my final post as our season came to an end last weekend.
After figuring out we would be hosting the first weekend of the tournament, our first round game against Bridgewater State put us in the drivers seat for what felt like was going to be a deep tournament run. We handled Bridgewater State 100-69 Friday night.
Our foe for Saturday primed us with a matchup with No. 22 Richard Stockton. They took it to us from the jump and beat us at our own game. We knew what they had to do to beat us and they did exactly that, they hit the offensive boards, played great defense and for only the second time in my entire college career I lost on our home floor.
(Ed. Note: Stockton beat Cabrini 85-76. Rafferty played all 40 minutes, scoring seven points)
I did my best to keep calm, but emotions rushed me as the game ended. It was not the way I wanted to end my college career–not like that, not on a year we were supposed to be national contenders. It was a disappointment, I was at a complete loss for words following the game, and I didn’t know what to say to anyone.
Luckily, I had my teammates there to back me up. If there’s one thing I’m going to remember from my senior season it will be my teammates coming and walking me off the floor following the heartbreaking that ultimately ended our season, and my career. This year paired me with a group of guys that gave me the closest feeling to a family since I began playing basketball. I told them all to keep their heads high, keep working in the classroom and on the court and make sure that this was the earliest exit to the tournament they’ll ever have. They have a strong team coming back; five freshmen along with the two top scorers is a scary thought, and I really look forward to coming back and watching those guys play.
Now before I end this there’s a few people I really want to thank. First, to City of Basketball Love for allowing me to write this blog all season, it’s been a great experience for me. (Ed. Note: It’s been our pleasure!)
I really want to thank my mom and dad, my number one fans, they never missed a game this season and they were with me until the very end. My brother and sister who I fell back on a lot this year when I was struggling those two have been my best friends throughout this whole four-year ride.
I want to thank Coach Kahn and the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play for Cabrini and putting me in positions to succeed. Thank you to our managers and trainers for putting up with all of us everyday and keeping us ready to go. Thanks to everyone in the Cabrini Athletic department and faculty and staff who made my time at Cabrini truly one to remember and thanks to all my friends at Cabrini for always supporting our team and myself.
And last but not least, to the guys I went to war with for the past four years, whether they graduated or still have three years left, thank you for giving me everything you had and pushing me to give you everything I had for four years every single day. You guys are the reason I loved coming to play everyday, you always had my back and I’ll always have yours.
It wasn’t easy taking the jersey off last weekend. Especially knowing it was ,the last time, but as I have had time to relax and reflect on the season and the past three years I’ve really gotten the opportunity to see it as a whole. Cabrini has allowed me to piece together a resume that most college players would die for.
Three Sweet 16’s, Two Elite Eights, a Final Four and an appearance in the National Championship game plus an 11-4 record in the NCAA tournament and four CSAC championships. I couldn’t have imagined even getting anywhere near a resume like that coming into my college career. It was an amazing ride, as for what comes next I don’t know at this point, but I will be prepared for it I know that much.
Cabrini gave me something most people search the world for–an experience of a lifetime.
Until next time,
Cabrini MBB #21