Former Binghamton men’s tennis star and 2005 Pipe Dream Male Athlete of the Year Dan Hanegby died on June 12 in a traffic accident in Manhattan. The 36-year-old investment banker and Israeli native leaves behind his wife Sasha, his 3-year-old daughter Mika and his 6-year-old son Omri.
Hanegby, who played lights-out tennis for BU for two seasons, went 31-7 in singles and led Binghamton to an America East (AE) Conference title and NCAA Tournament berth in the 2003-04 campaign. After earning the Most Outstanding Player Award at the conference championship during that season, Hanegby went on to record 30 wins and led the Bearcats to another AE trophy and a ticket to the NCAA Tournament in the following season.
Posting what Hall of Fame BU head coach Michael Starke considered the “best BU win ever” (a 6-2 and 6-2 straight-set win over the fourth-best player in the Northeast region), Hanegby played with unparalleled aggressiveness and competitiveness in each and every match.
“He arrived a man, not a boy,” Starke said, according to bubearcats.com. “Dan hit the ground running, excelling on the tennis court, in the classroom and connecting with people everywhere he went. Simply put, Dan was the best player to ever play for me. This tragic life-ending event is one that deeply affects our entire Binghamton University tennis family, and one that will take some time to heal.”
His prowess in the sport and in the classroom did not subside at Binghamton, as he transferred to Brown University to earn his bachelor’s degree in economics and continue to thrive on the court in 2007. After becoming the first Binghamton tennis player to achieve a Division I national ranking at No. 103, he ascended as high as No. 66 in the nation in singles for the Brown Bears.
In addition to his love for tennis, Hanegby was an avid cyclist and biked to his job at Credit Suisse everyday. While riding a Citi Bike along West 26th Street eastbound, he was struck and killed by a charter bus on Eighth Avenue on his regular commute to work.
A police report initially indicated that Hanegby had swerved toward the bus, subsequently fell and was trapped beneath one of the rear tires. Surveillance footage of the accident, which was obtained by a family friend, conflicted the report, revealed that Hanegby never swerved and depicted that he was traveling in a straight line until his bike was clipped by the bus.
The controversial evidence was brought to the attention of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, prompting an investigation in coordination with the police department’s transportation chief.
“But this death — and I must say, it’s a guy with an amazing future ahead of him and young children, devoted father,” de Blasio said, according to nytimes.com. “It’s horrible. And an athlete on top of that — someone who obviously was very good at handling his bike.”
Following her husband’s death, Sasha and her children left for Israel for the funeral. She remains uncertain as to whether or not she will return to live in New York City. Hanegby’s legacy will be remembered as a devoted husband, father, friend and teammate.