Mikaela Bakey has been selected as the Saint Joseph's University Hawk mascot for the 2017-18 season, becoming the 38th student to represent the University as its mascot in one of the most well-known traditions in college basketball.
Bakey becomes the third female student ever to take on the role of the mascot for SJU's men's basketball team, following predecessors Sarah Brennan (2000-01) and Brienne Ryan (2009-10).
Bakey is a rising senior from Mullica Hill, N.J., with a double major of accounting and risk management. A 2014 graduate of Clearview Regional High School, she has worked with the SJU men's basketball team as a manager for the past two seasons.
Her involvement on campus includes serving as vice president of standards for Alpha Omicron Pi's Sigma Beta Chapter and as a mentor with the “Walk with a Hawk Host” program.
“The quality of the applicants and finalists was extraordinary. Mikaela's enthusiasm, spirit and love for Saint Joseph's was refreshing and heartwarming. I am looking forward to working with her throughout the coming year,” said head coach Phil Martelli.
One of the most renowned mascots in all of college athletics, which made its debut on January 4, 1956, The Hawk is a rarity among mascots because it travels to every game, home or away. The student who serves as the mascot has been the recipient of an endowed scholarship since 1992, and also performs the responsibilities of a team manager.
The Hawk has been recognized by many publications over the years as the nation's top collegiate mascot, and in 2013-14, was cited as "College Basketball's Best Tradition" by NCAA.com.
The Hawk is known for flapping its wings continuously during an entire game as it epitomizes the school's motto of “The Hawk Will Never Die”.