PITTSBURGH — It has been a tough time recently for Maceo Austin as his sister passed away and it clearly proved emotional for Duquesne’s freshman guard.
Austin tweeted the news hours before the game posting a tweet of the two of them and was supported by his teammates both on social media in addition to during the game as everyone had on black socks. For his part, Austin also wore a headband.
“We’re going to continue to support him throughout the whole process of everything that is going on,” Duquesne redshirt junior guard Marcus Weathers said. “That’s what we do, we’re a family, we’re brothers. Every guy in the locker room is my brother, so we’ll just continue to support.”
Dambrot conceded that the past couple of days proved difficult and it was easy to tell that the sadness weighed heavily on his as he tried to explain the battle his guard was going through.
“One of your best kids goes through what he went through, it’s hard on everybody,” he said. “A lot of our guys have had similar issues, so it just drains you a little bit. I feel like they wanted to win so badly for him, that some times we just didn’t play the way we needed to play.”
When it came time to determine whether Austin would play or not, Dambrot left that decision entirely up to the player, willing to provide support regardless of the answer that came.
Austin, who Dambrot repeatedly has called “well-respected” and “one of the best guys I’ve had in a long time”, made the decision to play, which the third-year Duquesne coach did not express surprise over.
Overcome with emotion, Austin teared up following Wednesday night’s rendition of the National Anthem and in 35:24 of game action, he scored six points and added five rebounds.
love u forever & always sis🤞🏽.. u will be missed 🖤 pic.twitter.com/xO9hpOof3d
— Ⓜ️🅰️ (@MaceoAustin5) January 15, 2020
His biggest play came in transition when he was the only Duquesne player back on defense and blocked Ty Perry’s layup attempt. The play drew a loud ovation from the 2,356 in attendance.
Austin’s efforts helped Duquesne win a 58-56 overtime contest Wednesday night against Fordham.
As Dambrot recounted the past few days of events, he opted to place things in perspective, an appropriate bow to his remarks on Austin.
“I think the overall lesson is more important than the game,” said Dambrot. “Had we lost, I would have been upset but I wouldn’t be as upset as I am for what he’s going through.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the Austin family with funeral expenses. burial costs and memorial service costs. The following link can be copied and used for more information and/or to make a donation.