Have you ever wondered where certain people are these days? Maybe you always wanted to know certain things about that person or this person?
I’m going to live my inner ‘Howard Cosell’ and ask people from the neighborhood three questions for the blog.
Today, we start things off with Jimmy Routhier…
Jimmy was one of the best. He was not only a great basketball player but a real cool dude off the court as well. At the Holy Name Foundation Dinner-Dance back in October, it was a pleasure seeing him in the house.
Container Diaries: At what age did you start playing basketball? Tell us your early experience with the game as a kid?
JR: I started playing basketball around the age of 8. Donald Pynn brought me up to the schoolyard and taught me the basics like taking a lay-up, jump shot, etc. I then tried out for the Bantam B team in the 4th grade which was coached by Howie Gruschow.
I am convinced that I would have not made the team other than the fact that I made a lucky shot and I was fortunate enough that he asked me my name. Once I told him, he said you mean you’re Georgie’s brother and the next thing I knew I was on the team. I was probably the last man on the team and we took a lot of beatings that year. I practiced hard because the following year in the 5th grade I wanted to play for the A team and Mickey McNally. I did make the team and everything changed.
Mickey was a great coach and knew how to get the most out of his players and this was the turning point for me. I loved the game and couldn’t wait to play each Saturday morning at the St. Francis Xavier Lyceum. We had some great games against teams like St. James. We played against guys that were 2 to 3 years older than us. However, there was no discussion about ringers and we were expected to go out and full court press them the whole game and many times we gave them all they could handle.
There was something very special about playing for Mickey. He could be very hard on us but you knew he was always in your corner and he took a special interest. He was a great motivator and if he coached me throughout my career there is no doubt I would have reached my full potential.
I also have great memories playing intermediate ball for G. Conlon. We had a lot of talent and he brought it all together. We were an unstoppable force led by our big man Charlie Alberti and we won the Brooklyn Queens championship. This is a great memory for me. It was a true team, we all pulled for one another and in many big games we played flawlessly. It was all orchestrated by Gerard whom we all had great respect for. He was a great coach that truly believed in us and he made sure we did nothing less than win a championship. I owe so much to Mickey and Gerard. They have been a huge influence in my life.
Container Diaries: Best thing or favorite thing about growing up in the neighborhood?
JR: The best thing about growing up in the neighborhood was all the people I knew. There were literally hundreds of kids and there were so many characters. Windsor Terrace was pure Brooklyn with many blue-collar families, a bar on every corner, Gangs like the Huns and the Saxons. There were the jocks, the nerds, the tough guys and almost every nationality. It provided a great opportunity to learn how to cope with all the different kinds of personalities and to see the good and the bad side of life. I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up there and I will never forget it.
Container Diaries: Favorite memory of playing basketball for Bishop Ford H.S.?
JR: There were many good memories playing for Bishop Ford, such as playing in the CHSBL Finals against Marta Christie H.S. JV year, playing in Madison Square Garden, our trip to Israel in 1975, playing against some great players in the league like Bernard Rencher, Greg Coles, Gerard Maturine, being a teammate and friend of first team All City Selection Charlie Alberti, competing against Pete Gillen’s Nazareth teams.
Most of all playing for Ray Nash who now is a very close friend and the spirit and face of Bishop Ford. Through his example he taught us how to be positive and upbeat in the face of adversity and a person whose friendship I consider one of the most important in my life.
Wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday!
Enjoy the day and thanks for visiting.
I’m amazed at my 11-year-old daughter and her ability to sing every song that comes on the radio.
Am I surprised?
As a kid, do you recall learning the lyrics to your favorite song?
But I think we did it a bit different.
We played the record back over and over to memorize the words; we even hit the rewind button on the cassette player. My kid, she gets on the computer and Google’s the song. The lyrics pop up, she prints them out and has them to study.
Did you like to sing along when your favorite song came on the radio?
Today, when I hear a song from back in the day, I sing along and it brings back so many memories.
With only a few days before Christmas, shopping for gifts sometimes makes for difficult times.
Who recalls as a youngster (14-18 years old) going shopping for members of their family?
I was terrible at it. Come to think of it, I still am bad at it.
I never knew what to get anyone. (never had much dough to tell you the truth)
At the last-minute I would purchase one of those Jean Nate After Bath Splash Sets from Bargain Land for my mother costing $9.99. I don’t think she ever used it. Each year I would see more and more of it in the bathroom.
What are some of the obstacles you come across when shopping for a member of your family?
What’s the greatest advice you ever received from someone from the neighborhood?
I’m not sure if I ever received any advice from anyone. But I will tell you I probably wouldn’t have listened to them any way; it’s just the way I went about things, I wasn’t a good listener.
Today, I love hearing advice on how to improve or make things better in my life or chosen profession. I’m huge on motivational and inspirational quotes, been collecting them for years.
Here’s one of my favorites:
“Your best ability is your availability.”
For anyone who knows me, they know I love basketball.
For anyone who really knows me, they know that I love the New York Knicks. (But for the past few years, I have been down on them)
Last night I was in my glory. The Knicks finally played a meaningful regular season game.
Even though they came out on the short end of the stick against the Boston Celtics, it was still a well-played game. Boston beat them 118-116 but one thing is for sure…The Garden was rockin’.
Last night the Knicks made plays.
They defended, shared the ball and played with passion.
Amare Stoudemire has brought some toughness, passion and interest to New York. Sure the Knicks and their fans wanted LeBron James over this past summer but LBJ didn’t want them.
Last night while listening to Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy do the color for ESPN, I had major flashbacks to the Knicks of the 70’s; with Clyde, Earl Monore, Willis and Dollar Bill. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing the two teams, this year’s team is far from being a championship team.
The fans in MSG were chanting, ‘DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE’!
I had chills listening to them…on television. To me, that chant is one of the best in sports. The first time I heard it was when I was 12 years old and I was at the Garden watching the Knicks and 76ers.
During the early 80’s I’d buy an $8 ticket with my student I.D. for four bucks, climbing the many sets of escalators all the way up to the ‘blues’; once the refs tossed the ball up, we began our trek down as close as we could get to the court.
We always mapped out the strategy. Keeping one eye on the usher, one on an open seat.
One night I sat so close to the Knicks bench that I could hear Hubie Brown, the head coach screaming at Trent Tucker.
“TRENT, YA GOTTA PLAY SOME DEFENSE!”
Hanging outside on 33rd and 8th waiting for the players to sitting in the orange seats on Christmas night with GT watching Bernard King drop 60 on the New Jersey Nets!
GO NEW YORK, GO NEW YORK, GO!
I’m not sure when and where my love affair began with the men in blue and orange but I will say, they cost me my first true love affair. I was dating a wonderful girl when I was 14 years old. Her name was Maureen. She was beautiful.
Click here for a blog entry I composed about her back in May.
From the ages of 14 to 17 I paid more attention to the Knicks than I did to Maureen. I was too blind to realize how big of a mistake I was making.
I knew more about the players than I did about the girl who loved me.
My idol was Michael Ray Richardson. ‘Sugar’ was a great point guard. I tried to emulate his style. To this day Magic Johnson has said Sugar gave him fits.
The Knicks are 16-10 and in second place in the Atlantic, they have been playing well, but it’s still early. They haven’t sniffed .500 in ten years. There’s no telling what will happen but for now, I enjoy watching them and reading about possibly acquiring Carmelo Anthony. And if they do get ‘Melo’, watch out!
Shocking news from the neighborhood early Monday morning.
Click here for the Daily News story on the guy who stabbed his parents. Here’s a blurb from the story…
A deranged Brooklyn man fatally stabbed his mother and repeatedly slashed his father’s throat Monday before he threw himself in the path of a subway train, police said.
Ryan Devaney survived his encounter with an oncoming G-train and was pulled screaming from the tracks before being rushed to Lutheran Medical Center. He was listed in serious condition there.
Ryan’s dad, Raymond Devaney, who was stabbed twice in the throat, was in critical condition at Methodist, police said.
(Editor’s Note: Just to be clear, there’s no family relation to the Devaney’s from 10th avenue)