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Hooley heads home to be with mom

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By Aaron Cheris

Sports Editor

[email protected]

Jan. 28, 2015

Photo from America East Conference.  Peter Hooley, UAlbany's leading scorer, will miss an indefinite period of time.
Photo from America East Conference.
Peter Hooley, UAlbany’s leading scorer, will miss an indefinite period of time.

   The University at Albany will be without one of its basketball stars for the near future.

   Last week, it was announced that junior guard Peter Hooley would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the men’s basketball team in order to return home to Australia to be with his ailing mother.

   “At this point in time, we felt it was in the best interest of Peter to return home so he can be with his mother and family,” head coach Will Brown said in a statement released by the team. “There is no timetable for his return, and I ask that you respect the privacy of Peter and his family moving forward. I will handle any questions pertaining to this situation. Please keep the Hooley family in your thoughts and prayers.”

   According to a Times Union article, Hooley flew to Los Angeles with teammate and fellow Australian Mike Rowley last weekend. After arriving in Los Angeles, Rowley stayed with Hooley for the five-hour layover until Hooley’s flight to Sydney, Australia left. Rowley then returned to Albany in time to be with the team for their game at Stony Brook on Monday, Jan. 19.

   Hooley’s mother, Sue, has been battling colon cancer for years. On Wednesday, Jan. 14, UAlbany held a fundraiser at the men’s basketball game against Binghamton to support the Cancer Council of Australia and the annual Undies Run for Bowel Cancer. At the game, 500 wristbands in support of Colon Cancer Awareness sold out less than three minutes into the game. At the end of the game, an anonymous donor matched the $6,000 that was raised to bring the total to $12,000.

   After the game, which might have been Hooley’s last of the season, he was emotional. “I’m at a loss for words,” Hooley said while trying to hold back tears. “It’s an amazing community, and the way everyone has rallied around this cause I can’t thank you enough. It’s really special for me, and I’m glad we got the win to cap off a terrific night.”

   Hooley also took to Facebook to share his gratitude. “Life holds so many simple blessings, each day bringing its own individual wonder…and this is proof,” Hooley wrote. “What started as a small idea to just do my bit from the other side of the world, ahs turned into something I can’t even fathom. The donations, the support and the love shows that the world can truly be a beautiful place. So from the bottom of my heart…thank you.”

    Fellow Australian and team captain Sam Rowley had high praise for the Hooley family. “Pete’s mom is one of the strongest people I know,” Rowley said. “If everybody was half as strong and as sweet as she is, the world would be a better place.”

   Prior to departing, Hooley was UAlbany’s leading scorer at 14.5 points per game. He needs just four more points to reach 1,000 for his career.

   Since Hooley’s departure, UAlbany is 3-0. However, the wins and losses aren’t all that is important in this situation. Although their captain won’t be on the court with them, there is no question Hooley will be with UAlbany for the rest of the season.

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