March 26, 2015


Filed under: Tom Izzo — hoopscoach @ 7:13 am

The past couple of days I have watched Michigan State practice for their Sweet 16 game against Oklahoma.  Tom Izzo, the Spartans head coach had something interesting to say.

“Why can’t everyone be nice to each other? If everyone was nice to each other, the world would be a better place.”

Amen Coach Izzo…


March 22, 2015


Received word that Bobby passed away. He was 81.

Here’s the obit from the New York Daily News.

BURKE-Robert Patrick (Bob), 81, of Manhattan, passed away doing what he loved best – playing basketball with his son, Jim, and his grandson, Kevin – at his favorite spot, the New York Athletic Club, on his favorite day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day.

Bob was born in Brooklyn, NY, son of William Patrick Burke and Elizabeth Doyle Burke, brother to William “Billy” Burke and Arthur Burke, all deceased.

Bob proudly served in the Air Force as an Intercept Operator during the Korean War.

After the war, Bob started his life long love of cruising; among the industry, his family and friends, Bob was known as “the cruise man”.

He is survived by his loving wife, Suzanne Healy Burke, along with his son, James Cavanaugh Burke (Manhattan), his daughter, Kimberley Burke Mazzella (Oceanport, NJ), and her five children; Maggie, Leigh, Genevieve, Kevin and Frances.

In lieu of flowers, kindly send donations to the Wounded Warrior Project ( in memory of our beloved Bob.

March 18, 2015


Filed under: Blog — hoopscoach @ 12:15 pm
Tags: , ,

My friend Al Powers recently posted a status update on Facebook that caught my eye.

Al wrote that he went back to the neighborhood for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and to pay a visit his family.

His mom had mentioned that the “new people” in the neighborhood use the word “leftovers” to describe the residents that still live there.

We’re talking about the ones who go back as far as the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

The people born and raised in the neighborhood.

Still not sure what to think of this description.

When I think of “leftovers,” all I can remember is when my mother would make a nice dinner on a Sunday afternoon, then the following day, we’d have the same thing for dinner.


Come on man…


March 17, 2015


Filed under: Blog — hoopscoach @ 12:53 pm


March 11, 2015


Filed under: The Deerr Family — hoopscoach @ 9:32 am

Received news that Larry has passed away. He was 82.

The Deerr’s lived on the avenue for many years. Larry’s two sons, Richie and Mickey were good guys. His daughter Eileen, was aces.

Solid family.

Larry Deerr

My condolences to the entire Deerr family.

Azzara Funeral Home

183 Sand Lane

Staten Island, NY

(718) 727-1440


Thursday March 12:  7-9PM

Friday March 13:  2-4 PM and 7-9PM



Saturday March 14:  9:30 AM

Holy Rosary Church

80 Jerome Avenue

Staten Island, NY

March 10, 2015


In the history of men’s college basketball, there has been only five D-1 schools NOT to make the NCAA tournament. (160 original schools)

The Citadel


William & Mary


Go ahead, guess the fifth?

Time’s up!

St. Francis College of Brooklyn. That’s right, our very own college. (Sorry Brooklyn College, you guys used to be D-1 when Jackie Ryan and Turk suited up)

Guess which of the five schools can take themselves off that list tonight and go dancing? Here’s a hint, William & Mary lost last night in their conference championship so they are eliminated. The Citadel just fired their coach. So go ahead, take a stab at it. Army, Northwestern or SFC?

SFC Terrier

If you guessed the Terriers of St. Francis, Hooley will buy you a drink!

That’s right sports fans.  Tonight down on Remsen Street the Terriers have a chance to make the NCAA tournament with a win over Robert Morris. (Northwestern can break their streak if they win the Big Ten tournament this week in Chicago).

Looking back, there were so many people from the neighborhood that attended SFC.

As a kid I used to hop on the F-train and go see Gerard Trapp play at 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights. Gerard wore number four. And no, I did not pay my fare. We hopped the turnstile.

Gerard was my hero.


It was my first exposure to men’s college basketball.

I also recall hopping in Forte Bellino’s car on the corner of Ninth and Windsor Place and go watch Edgar De La Rosa run the point for the Terriers. Edgar grew up on Prospect Avenue and played four years at Bishop Ford.

Oh, I can’t leave out my girl, Mary Kawas, one of the best female athletes of all-time. We grew up together.  She too played ball for SFC. And let me tell, could she ball. Oh baby she gad game.

No one knew at the time but I had dreams of playing for SFC. I would work on my game in the boys schoolyard late at night making believe I was playing for the Terriers. As we all know, it never worked out.

Bishop Ford alum Glenn Braica is doing a great job as head coach at his alma mater. Glenn is a good dude. I am so happy for him. Good things do happen to good people.

So tonight at 7pm on ESPN2, do yourself a favor and pull up a chair to cheer on the Terriers.  The game is being played down on Remsen Street.  If you’re going to the game, good luck with parking. Or, you can do like me and take the F-train to Jay Street.



March 6, 2015


Filed under: Farrell's — hoopscoach @ 6:54 am

Via Harry Mills

The Huns

March 3, 2015


Filed under: Farrell's — hoopscoach @ 6:43 am
Tags: ,

March Madness is here.

Punch the ticket; “Farrell’s” is up for best neighborhood institution.

February 28, 2015


Filed under: Egg Cream,Friends,Holy Name — hoopscoach @ 11:34 am
Tags: ,

Was recently introduced to some interesting material; ways to control stress. Who’s not stressed?

In a nutshell it says, right before you go to bed at night to think back over your day and remember three good things that happened – things that went well, that you enjoyed or were grateful for. These can be small (e.g. a delicious sandwich or a child smiling on the bus) or of bigger importance for you. You’ll probably find it varies. Try doing this for a week to start with.

The article says that people who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.  They go on to say that being grateful can help people cope with stress and can even have a beneficial effect on heart rate. In tests, people who tried it each night for just one week were happier and less depressed one month, three months and six months later.

Here’s the link:

Now, I started this program today (Saturday February 28, 2015).

But if I were to look back at my time growing up in the neighborhood, here’s my three.

1-An Egg Cream



Now it’s your turn.

On your mark, get set, go…



February 21, 2015


Filed under: Brooklyn,New York City — hoopscoach @ 10:43 am
Tags: , , , ,

It’s all about the assist.

Thanks to Tony F. for sending me the really cool NBA All-Star pull-out section from the Daily News dedicated to the greatest basketball players to come out of New York City.

Daily News NYC pull out

When you think of NYC, basketball comes to mind. (Sorry, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind)

The city produced so many great players over the years.

Didn’t matter where you were; you could always find a good run in any of the five boroughs.

I had the pleasure of playing ball in all five.

From talking to many friends that still live in and around the city, it’s not like that anymore.

What happened?

Here’s the list of the Top 10 from the city (Via the New York Daily News).

1-Kareem Abdul-Jabber

2-Bob Cousy

3-Chris Mullin

4-Dolph Schayes 

5-Lenny Wilkins

6-Richie Guerin

7-Bernard King

8-Connie Hawkins

9-Billy Cunningham

10-Nate Archibald

I think there could be a serious debate over this list.

So we’re at Farrell’s, standing at the bar. Discuss…


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