For Cortland native, sports runs in the bloodline

Eamonn Mahar, left, holds the MAAC Tournament trophy alongside his father, Buddy Mahar (photo provided)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — From an early age, Eamonn Mahar was confident he would have a career in the basketball industry.

"It's 100 percent basketball," Mahar says of his upbringing. "My mom gets a little bit mad because that's all we talk about."

The sport runs in the family. Mahar's father, Buddy Mahar, was a college basketball coach for Columbia University, Fordham University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mahar eventually settled down in Cortland, where he would raise a family and go on to start the Cortland Basketball Club, which helps local youth develop their basketball skills. He also has a brother, Matt, who has coached basketball at Chaminade University in Hawaii and at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.

"I’m blessed to be from a coaching family," he says.

Mahar played basketball, soccer, and lacrosse while attending Cortland High School. He went on to attend SUNY Cortland, where he spent three years as a manager for the men's basketball team. During this time, he took on the position of director at the basketball club that was started by his father.

Mahar is now finishing up his first year of schooling at Iona College in Westchester County, where he landed a job as a graduate manager for the men's basketball team. This past weekend, Mahar was given the distinct honor of cutting the net following Iona College's victory over Fairfield in the MAAC championship game on Monday. With the victory, the Gaels secured a sport in the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.

"It's kind of a surreal experience," he said.

Eamonn Mahar cuts the net following Iona College's victory over Fairfield in the MAAC Tournament Monday night (photo provided)

Mahar and the rest of the team are anxiously awaiting the NCAA Tournament rankings, which will be released on Sunday.

Mahar offered a few words of advice to those who are thinking about a career in the sports world.

"If you want to get into coaching, be ready to do whatever, and do it with enthusiasm and positivity," Mahar said. "As Coach [Tim] Cluess says, good things happen to people who work hard. Things have been good thus far."