Happenings Around Friartown
While the Providence Friars basketball season is right in the thick of the 2022-2023 schedule, it seemed like a good time to shed some light on some other news and accomplishments that are happening around Friartown.
1) Julian Gressel (’16) gets the call up to the US Men’s National Team
Julian Gressel was drafted #8 overall by Atlanta United FC in the MLS Super Draft following his graduation from PC in 2016. Gressel won the 2017 Rookie of the Year Award in the MLS and followed that up with Atlanta United winning the MLS Cup in 2018. With his rookie contract coming to a close and due for a major pay bump, Atlanta sent Gressel to DC United for $750K in Targeted Allocation Money in 2020. The right wing/back continued racking up assists while with DC, notching 13 in 2022, good for the third highest total in the league. He was recently traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps for $900K in General Allocation Money this past summer.
Gressel, who is originally from Germany, officially became a US Citizen at the end of 2022 after being both a resident in the States since turning professional and getting married to an American as well, making him officially eligible to potentially be a part of the US Men’s National Team. It didn’t take long for the call up…
And then it didn’t take long for the human assist machine to make his mark with the team in his first game against Serbia.
Congrats to Julian on a fantastic debut and hopefully many more impactful plays in the near future.
2) Emily Sisson (’15) breaks her own American Half Marathon record in Houston
Emily Sisson became the first American woman to run a half marathon in under 1:07 with a time of 1:06:52 at the Houston Half Marathon on January 15th. She broke her own record by 19 seconds, finished second overall and now owns 4 of the top 6 fastest times for an American woman at this distance.
3) Providence Cheerleading Places 6th in the Nation
In Orlando, FL over the January 14th/15th weekend, the Providence College cheerleading team reached the UCA Finals for the first time ever, placing sixth in the nation at the 2023 UCA College Nationals. This was the team’s first time back at the UCA College Nationals since 2019 but were unable to attend the past two years due to Covid.
4) Al Durham (G ’22) is Acquired by the Caledonia Gladiators
Al Durham, who was one of the main catalysts of the Friars run to the Sweet Sixteen last season was just acquired by the Caledonia Gladiators of Scotland, just in time to play this Friday against the Bristol Flyers. Durham had started the 2022-2023 season in the Greek League with G.S. Lavrio B.C.
“The Closer” should be a welcomed addition to the British Basketball League (BBL) on a team whose record currently sits at 9-8 on the season.
5) Donnie McGrath (’06) Co-Founder and CEO of LIFT Sports
Donnie McGrath is the co-founder and CEO of LIFT Sports Management. Along with longtime NBA player and agent Mike Miller as the President of the company, they have now roughly 25 clients that they manage both professional and through NIL in college. The company has grown significantly since their start in mid-2020, their biggest move signing last year’s number 1 draft pick, Paolo Blanchero.
I personally never knew about this venture for McGrath even though it’s been a couple years since it began, so if you’re curious about it too, you can check out their site here.
Until next time, keep your ears open for any news on our Friar alumni.