Basketball Team Spends Day of Service with NOPD
Kevin Murphy, a 2000 alumnus, has a gym bag full of memories from his days playing basketball for Jesuit. Some of his fondest ones didn’t take place on the Birdcage hardwood.
“I remember Coach (Chris) Jennings taking us for service days back in the 90s,” said Murphy, “and those off-the-court experiences still resonate with me today.” It’s one of the reasons Murphy returned to Carrollton and Banks to take the position of community service director. The former forward is still walking the walk.
On Saturday, Oct. 4, Coach Jennings, assistant coach Wesley Laurendine, and 11 of their basketball players helped paint the New Orleans Police Department’s 1st District police station on North Rampart Street. Murphy coordinated the effort and recorded an assist, pitching in with a paintbrush of his own.
His former coach wasn’t surprised.
“Kevin was a good basketball player and an even better person,” said Jennings.
And there was another special connection made that day. The commander of the 1st District is Otha Sandifer, a Jesuit alumnus from the Class of 1983. It made him smile to see today’s Blue Jays giving back in such a meaningful way.
“It certainly brought back a lot of good memories,” Sandifer said.
After Jesuit, Sandifer joined the Navy, where he served with the Marines as a field medic. He returned to his hometown in 1992 to join the NOPD. In 2012, he became commander of the New Orleans Police Academy, before being assigned as commander of the 1st District in 2013.
Meeting the basketball team inspired Sandifer on multiple levels.
“It was great to see today’s Blue Jays living the motto of being Men for Others, and it made me want to reconnect with my classmates and with my alma mater,” he said.
And it gave Murphy another memory.
“I’ve always felt like part of the basketball program, even after I graduated, but being back with our coaches and boys strengthened that connection.”