By Aaron Besecker
Having a son playing for a team in the NCAA Tournament is enough to make any parents proud.
But having two sons playing for teams in the tournament, and then to have them both playing in the same city to start – that’s a little more special.
Just ask the parents of Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis and Villanova’s Dylan Ennis.
For Tony McIntyre and Suzette Ennis of Brampton, Ont., they were experiencing that situation on Thursday in First Niagara Center.
“Everything’s good so far,” McIntyre said at halftime of Syracuse’s game against Western Michigan, which the Orange eventually won easily, 77-53. “Guys just look like they have a whole different ... a lot more energy than they’ve had in the past,” he said.
The family, which has four other children, came to Buffalo with a contingent of about 50 or 60 people, including some from the basketball program McIntyre runs back home.
With dad clad in a gray Syracuse hoodie and a mom in a Syracuse T-shirt, the proud parents have had “quite a few” interview requests since the tournament began, McIntyre said.
How does the family handle the necessary wardrobe change between their sons’ games, switching from the orange of Syracuse to the white and blue of the Villanova Wildcats?
That’s part of what McIntyre and Ennis were talking about in their seats at halftime.
“Probably just head back to the hotel, change into Villanova stuff and then probably get a bite to eat and come back,” McIntyre said.
Having both sons play in the same city certainly makes travel easier for the family, but they would have been able to manage if things turned out differently.
In fact, they did it last weekend when Villanova was playing in the Big East Tournament championship game at Madison Square Garden in New York, which is where mom, Suzette, went. McIntyre went to see Tyler play in the ACC Tournament in North Carolina.
The parents want to make sure their sons “have all the support they need.”
If they couldn’t be together in Buffalo, “we would have probably done the exact same thing” as last weekend, “and probably still have to hopefully, if all goes well.”