Borough pres Antonio Reynoso excited for ACC Tournament to bring ‘level of normality’ to Brooklyn

Antonio Reynoso
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso poses with ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, BSE Global CEO John Abbamondi, and all 15 ACC team mascots.
Christian Arnold

New Brooklyn Borough president Antonio Reynoso stood in front of Barclays Center on Monday afternoon to welcome the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament to Brooklyn, and to proclaim another positive sign that the city is turning the corner towards life after COVID. 

Barclays Center will host the ACC tournament beginning on Tuesday and ending on Saturday when they crown a conference champion. The tournament is expected to take on extra significance as it marks the final one for legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. 

For Reynoso, the excitement is just seeing more and more people get back out and about in the borough.  

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“There’s some fatigue out in this city,” the borough president told amNewYork after proclaiming this week ACC Tournament Week in Brooklyn. “Everyone is exhausted of COVID. To see the ACC come to Brooklyn, the greatest place on earth, just gives us a sense of hope there is going to be some level of normality in how we live moving forward. 

“I’ve been fighting to make sure it’s a new type of normal, that’s better for the people that have suffered the most, but sometimes we just have to have fun and Brooklyn is about to have some fun.” 

Reynoso was flanked by the CEO of BSE Global, parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, John Abbamondi, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips and the 15 mascots of ACC schools. 

This year marks the third time that Barclays Center has hosted the ACC Tournament since the building opened in 2012. The venue is expected to welcome thousands of college basketball fans is one of two New York City venues to host a major college basketball tournament this week.  

“New York is truly incredible. It’s hard to beat New York, ” Phillips said. “What does Frank Sinatra say, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. This tournament will be the precursor to getting onto the NCAA tournament the following. So if you win the tournament here and you have a good run here it bodes well for the following week of March Madness.”

Madison Square Garden is hosting the Big East Tournament beginning on Wednesday, but Reynoso said he would be pulling for whichever team came out of the winner in Brooklyn to go all the way in the NCAA tournament later this month. 

“They’re in Brooklyn, they’re all my teams now,” he said. 

During his comments, the new borough president mentioned basketball in the borough playing a role in getting life back into the city, mentioning not just the ACC tournament, but also the Brooklyn Nets. And Barclays Center, according to Reynoso, is part of the soul of Brooklyn. 

“There are some things in this recovery that we’re not going to be able to touch,” he said. “It’s like the soul of the city, the soul of Brooklyn, and this is going to fee our soul. And this building is going to be central to that so I’m really excited about it.”

Reynoso was quick to acknowledge the controversial history that led to the develop of Barclays Center, but said the “building itself has done its part to bring life, economic development and these type of opportunities to Brooklyn.”