WASHINGTON, D.C. – When the University of Maryland women's basketball team came to Gallaudet University on Wednesday, January 12, to watch the Bison home contest against College of Saint Elizabeth, Fox 5 (WTTG) in Washington, D.C., was present to record the reunion between the two teams. Sports reporter Lindsay Murphy interviewed Gallaudet coach Kevin Cook and seniors Easter Faafiti (Pittsburg, Calif.) and Nukeitra Hayes (Anderson, Ind.) along with two Maryland players in Yemi Oyefuwa and Essence Townsend about the team's relationship on and off the court.
If you missed the original airdate of the feature on Monday, January 17, you can watch online here:
Below is the transcript of the story for your viewing pleasure.
Fox 5 sports feature on Gallaudet and Maryland women's basketball
By Lindsay Murphy
Laura Evans, Fox 5 Anchor: You know in sports they say it is more then just about winning and losing. It has the ability to teach life lessons. This is certainly true for two local basketball teams. Sports Director Dave Feldman is here with that story. Hey Feldy!
Dave Feldman, Fox 5 Sports Director: Gallaudet University is the leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard of hearing undergraduate students. This season, the women's basketball team is not only undefeated on the court, but is making lifelong friendships off the court.
FOX 5's Lindsay Murphy has more on this story.
Murphy voice over: The Gallaudet women's basketball team is a force to be reckoned with on the court. They are off to the best start in the programs history.
Kevin Cook, Gallaudet head coach:
"We went through some tough times building this program from the ground up so for the players to be able to enjoy, reap the rewards is really nice and gratifying."
(Murphy Standup): "Gallaudet's flawless record has surely been an inspiration but a new found friendship off of the court has made this season even more special."
Murphy voice over: The Maryland women's basketball team has become the Bison's biggest fans. The two teams played an exhibition game at the Comcast Center in November and the Terps won 90-37. But the score didn't matter, what matters most are the lessons learned after the final whistle blew.
Nukeitra Hayes, Gallaudet Senior
"I knew they would destroy us like they did but the point was to have the team build off of that experience."
Easter Faafiti, Gallaudet Senior
"We played tough, this conference is different, it's actually new for us but playing against the University of Maryland helped us prepare for the conference we are in right now."
Yemi Oyefuwa, Maryland Junior
"It was amazing at the time I was taking a sign language class so I was able to see how they communicate with each other and how they communicate on the court. It was wonderful they were so good and really talented."
Murphy voice over: The two teams have built a real relationship; one that included the Terps attending Gallaudet's game, when the bison beat St. Elizabeth, improving to 12-0. Who knew a lasting friendship would come from an exhibition game?
Hayes: "It means a lot, like how many Division I players really want to be motivated to watch a Division III game? I can see they are really motivated to sign with us and their willing to sit and learn and that inspires me."
Essence Townsend, Maryland Sophomore
"It's a good friendship too we talk to them often, a lot of them on Facebook. Actually, I didn't know any of them knew we were coming but they'll be pretty excited to see us here afterwards.
Murphy: Lindsay Murphy, Fox 5 Sports
<END OF VIDEO>
Feldman: Both teams have been following each other's progress, sending texts and e-mail updates. Two Maryland players have learned sign language and have been helping their teammates with communicating. Gallaudet, 14-0, and one victory from matching the school's longest winning streak set 12 years