Men's Basketball Wins On and Off the Court with DC Trip


On November 17th-18th, MCCC men’s basketball made their annual trip to Washington, D.C. where Head Coach Howard Levy took the team to some special spots before playing at Frederick Community College.  This is the 13th time Coach Levy has done this trip with the Mercer men’s basketball team.


Coach Levy described how the first trip started and became an annual tradition with his team.  “The DC trip began when John Thompson was coaching at Georgetown and Mercer would play a morning game before a Georgetown afternoon game.  The team would head down a day early to see some of the sights of Washington and meet and learn from some of people I know down in DC, where I spent seven years.  It is always a very special trip—besides showing my team that I am a human being, they learn a lot, see some of D.C.’s best sights whether the Lincoln Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, the Museum of African American History, the Supreme Court or the Capitol, and meet some great people including Members of Congress, NBA players and coaches, former Mercer players, former George Washington players (where I was an assistant coach while in law school), lawyers, Princeton friends, etc.  It’s always a meaningful and valuable trip for the guys, with benefits beyond the weekend.”


The first stop for the team this year was to the U.S. Capitol for a quick tour, before lunch with Congressman Glenn Ivey from the Fourth District in Maryland.  Coach Levy was unsure whether the Congressman would be available, as Nov. 17th was the day that funding for the government was scheduled to run out, but fortunately an agreement was reached several days earlier.  Congressman Ivey is a Princeton graduate, class of 1983.  Ivey played JV basketball at Princeton, went to Harvard Law School and has had a career as a prosecutor, a high level Congressional aide and now as a first term Congressman.  Levy discussed how enjoyable this visit with Congressman Ivey was.  “Ivey told some amazing stories from his career. He choked up when he told the story of the passing of someone who he prosecuted for murder, who turned his life around and the Congressman helped him incorporate into society upon his release from prison.  The guys asked some questions and it was a terrific visit.”


The Vikings then travelled to the Wizard’s practice facility in Southeast Washington, where the team met with John Thompson, former Princeton and Georgetown coach and now a VP with the Wizards.  The team was hoping to see some of the Wizards players but they had finished their shoot around an hour before Mercer arrived, prior to their game that evening with the Nets.


The next stop was to dinner at Il Canale, an Italian restaurant in the middle of Georgetown, where Coach Levy has taken the team the past few years.  The final stop of the day was to check-in to the hotel located in Rosslyn, VA, right over the bridge from Georgetown.  Paco Boussougou, who played on one of Coach Levy’s first teams, including the 2009-10 Region Championship team, which made it to the National Championship, stopped by to say hello and meet the guys.  “Paco is doing great, has a Masters degree in business, is married with a son and is a great example for our current guys.  We had some tough times when he was a player that we can laugh at now and the fact that we are friends twelve years later says a lot.”


The next day, the team took a quick trip over to the Lincoln Memorial which is one of Coach Levy’s favorite spots to visit and take team photos by.  The visit was capped off by a hard-fought 72-69 victory at Frederick.


The trip to DC brought home a victory this year, but it also brought home memories and lessons that will last far beyond the season for the Vikings.


For the latest on MCCC men’s basketball, visit:


 Mercer men's basketball at the Lincoln Memorial



Vikings basketball on the Washington Mall



  Men's basketball by the Rosa Parks statue in the US Capitol Building



The team had lunch with Congressman Glenn Ivey (front center) at the Capitol Building



The team in front of the US Capitol Building



The Vikings got to practice at the Washington Wizards practice facility 


 Fred Orock goes up for a dunk during practice at the MedStar Health Performance Center