News & Features, September 2016

Wait…don’t you play basketball?

It’s shortly before 1 p.m. on Aug. 25, and students are gathered in the courtyard outside MLK Center for ‘Club Fest,’ where all the organizations, from the Student Government Association to Greek organizations, have tables set up to showcase their groups. The purpose of the event is to spark the interest of students and perhaps get new members.

The event includes ‘Meet the Falcons,’ where students get to meet the football team before their first game. As the team parades before the students, many students realize that there are many new and unfamiliar faces on the team. But there is one face that students, faculty and staff know well – Anthony “Greeze” Gaskins. Greeze is a shooting guard for Saint Augustine’s University’s basketball team. Last year, he showed remarkable shooting skills and calmness under pressure and emerged as one of the star players for the team.

But, oddly enough, he is wearing a football jersey. Many aren’t sure what they are seeing.

“Wait, Greeze plays football now?” said Natia Simmons, a senior biology major from Wilmington, NC.

Gaskins, a Human Performance and Wellness major from Greenville, North Carolina, is on the football team, playing strong safety. This fall, Saint Augustine’s University will get to see how well rounded his athletic talents are.

Some students had mixed emotions about this. At the “Meet the Falcons” event, some were concerned when they saw Gaskins in a football jersey. “Is he done with basketball?” one student said. “Will he return for basketball season?” another wondered.

Gaskins is not done with basketball but, this year, he wanted to play two sports.

“I’m playing football this year because I miss playing football,” he told The Falcon Forum. “I played four years in high school and I was pretty good. After talking to the defensive coordinator on several occasions about playing football this year, he really made me see life in a different perspective.

“Since this is my last year of college, I thought to myself, ‘Why not play one year of football because anything could happen?’ This could possibly be my last time ever playing in an organized sport. I don’t want to look back when I get older and say, ‘I should have done this, I should have done that.’ So why not do it now when I have to the opportunity to still have a full year of college left?”

In the football team’s first game of the year, on Sept. 3 against North Carolina A&T, Gaskins was one of the bright spots, finishing with eight tackles and forcing a fumble. Despite a bruising loss in that game, Saint Augustine’s University Head Football Coach Tim Chavous has said he is optimistic about the team’s chance this year because of the depth that new players bring.

— Amber Hagin