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BIG EAST Conference to Host Inaugural Freshmen Fundamentals Program

Georgetown's Greg Monroe to be on Player Panel.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Press release from The Big East:

Men's Basketball Freshmen Student-Athletes Will Participate In Orientation in NYC

NEW YORK - The BIG EAST Conference will host its inaugural Freshmen Fundamentals Program, which is designed to assist men's basketball student-athletes in the transition from high school to college and the elite level of BIG EAST basketball, Senior Associate Commissioner for Men's Basketball Stu Jackson announced today.

Freshmen Fundamentals will be held in New York City on Sept. 12-13.  All 10 BIG EAST schools will send scholarship and walk-on freshmen, who will be selected at each institution's discretion.  Approximately 40 student-athletes are expected to attend.

"We are very excited to conduct our first Freshmen Fundamentals Program, which is designed to help our incoming men's basketball players deal with the many demands they will face in the classroom and as high-profile athletes in the BIG EAST Conference," said Jackson.   "Our schools and coaches are committed to developing their student-athletes as complete individuals, and this program will offer a variety of strategies they can use in college - both on and off the court -- and later in life."

The Freshmen Fundamentals schedule will include a panel comprised of former BIG EAST players, a broadcast presentation by executives from BIG EAST national television partner FOX Sports, and instruction from nationally acclaimed experts in media training and personal branding.  The student-athletes will also hear from a former NBA coach, who will offer insights into careers in professional basketball.  The program will include a visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan and a behind-the-scenes tour of Madison Square Garden, the "World's Most Famous Arena" and home of the BIG EAST Tournament.

The panel of former BIG EAST players will be moderated by Tarik Turner, a St. John's standout guard who has enjoyed a successful professional career in finance and broadcasting, including as an analyst for BIG EAST games on FOX Sports.  The players on the panel will include Greg Monroe of the Milwaukee Bucks, who played at Georgetown (2008-10), and Randy Foye of the Denver Nuggets, who played at Villanova (2002-06).  Monroe was the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 2009, and Foye was the BIG EAST Player of the Year in 2006.

Turner also will lead a separate discussion on life as a BIG EAST student-athlete and how to take advantage of the educational, social and career-planning opportunities offered by BIG EAST schools.

The media training session will be conducted by Dan Broden, the President of Broden Communications and a national expert on communications and presentation skills.  Broden's clients include the NBA, NASCAR, top business executives, and a variety of sports and entertainment figures.  DeNita Turner, President and CEO of Image Builders, Inc., will host a panel on etiquette and personal branding and how to create a positive image in a variety of campus and social settings.   She has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies, the NBA and WNBA.

Former NBA coach Jim O'Brien, who served terms as the head coach of the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers, will offer insights into what professional coaches look for in college players, ways to get ahead of the competition and how to best utilize the time spent in college.

FOX Sports personnel will brief the student-athletes on the extensive national television coverage that BIG EAST men's basketball teams receive and how best to navigate the opportunities and challenges that come with media exposure.  FOX Sports has the national television rights to all BIG EAST competitions.