By Kiyanna Noel
Representatives from Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island battle it out to win Fuerza’s 7th annual Battle of the boroughs event from 7 to 10 p.m. April 16 in Memorial Hall.
In between games there will also be a dance performance from African Unity Dance.
The annual event is about settling the long debate of which of the New York City boroughs is the best. Everyone from the winning borough will receive bragging rights until the next tournament.
During last year’s tournament, Brooklyn took home the win, but this year Fuerza President Shelby Disla thinks her team, Queens, will “take home the W.”
This event features five teams with coaches being different members of Fuerza: The BIPOC Student Union.
The coaches include Event Coordinator Lauren Sealey representing Brooklyn, Historian Jeidy Aloi representing the Bronx, Treasurer Glenadaliz Espinal and Public Relations chair Nekaybaw Ross representing Manhattan, Disla representing Queens and Event Coordinator Christopher Navarro representing Staten Island.
Although Disla is not from Queens, she is determined to lead the team to victory after last year’s loss.
“I’m excited to coach Queens because I’m here for the competitive borough drama,” Disla said. “If you’re from the city you know you’re riding for your borough, it’s your bloodline thing forreal so I’m excited to see all our roots and passions come out.”
To Aloi, this event means a lot to her. She had reservations about creating the flyer for the event to being a coach for the first time, but knowing this was a big event, she used it as motivation to persevere.
“The event in general means a lot to me,” Aloi said. “I’ve been looking forward to it since I’ve joined Fuerza just because there’s always a lot of people in attendance and it’s fun to see how competitive people get for their boroughs.”
Nursing major Aloi, though not from the Bronx, is ecstatic to represent them.
“I’ve seen how passionate people are from the Bronx, especially the players on the team, so I’m excited to be the coach and represent the borough,” Aloi said.
The Bronx is big on pride, but other teams and coaches are not going to take it easy on them. Espinal, representing Manhattan, is ready to finally win while repping her hometown.
“I love to watch basketball, so I’m excited to learn from the experience,” Espinal said. “I’m still trying to learn and make sure that everyone has their time on the court and everyone gets to play and to have fun.”
Although the tournament is about team members representing their borough, it’s also about bringing the campus community together to bond over a sport that many people enjoy.
“I went to Battle of the Boroughs as a freshman before I was a Fuerza member and I enjoyed the unity,” Espinal said. “I feel like this event will help us be more together as a school.”
Students are also excited to attend and represent their friends, especially if they share the same borough.
Angelina Briggs, from the Bronx, is excited to support Rashad Nicholas, winner of Mr. BSU, as he represents the Bronx.
“The Bronx is going to win,” Briggs said. “Especially with Mr. BSU on their team there’s no way that they could lose.”
The event will take place in the Recreational Room in Memorial Hall and will be one of Fuerza’s biggest events for the semester. This event is intended to make campus closer together while also being divided during the friendly competition.
“I’m not much of a talker, I’m more of a shower,” Disla said. “May the best borough win.”