Came across this article on youth sports. Got me thinking about the days of growing up in the neighborhood.

The Lot




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20 Responses to GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY

  1. bob terry says:

    I had breakfast two weeks ago with Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Kareem is a good guy & even if he wasn’t over 7 feet tall, he would be a successful guy because he was a good student. Unlike so many athletes, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in English (same as me). He currently runs a camp for kids called Skyhook, which teaches them STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). As Kareem told me, all the kids want to be Kobe & Jay Zee, and none of them will. He tells them to embrace STEM, that’s now & the future. He knows as he has 5 kids. He’s right. By the way, I’m 5’6” and even though I loved basketball as a kid, I sucked @ it.

  2. TonyF16 says:

    Great to see they are utilizing that lot. Brings back alot of great memories playing there when I was a kid. I lived 2 doors away on the 16 street side.

  3. jimmyvac says:

    He was way ahead of his time, practicing martial arts and yoga back in the early 1970s which helped him play so well so long. Shame the NBA
    did not give him a chance as a coach or executive.. Smart thoughtful man….could do it all on the court…

  4. Jim casey says:

    In 2003 Kareem gave the eulogy for his Power coach, Jack Donohue. He was eloquent, never mentioning hoops, but crediting Coach D with his assistance in aiding Kareem’s development as a man. Kareem also came to the reception afterwards and remained until anyone that wanted to sit and talk with him could. He was among the last to leave. Very gracious.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Jim Casey,

      On a Tuesday night in January, after a Knicks game vs the Lakers at the Garden we walked up to forty-second street and Lexington avenue. The Lakers were staying at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. It was me and two other kids. With midtown traffic and our power walking, we beat the bus to the hotel. As we waited for the Laker players to get off the bus, there must have been 5 or 6 people standing there with us (just curious, not looking for autographs).

      A few Lakers signed, even got Pat Riley to pen his autograph.

      Magic was great, he signed with no problem. Even chatted for a few seconds. He actually signed for everyone that was there. But Kareem never signed. He walked past everyone. I think he had a decent game too. Lakers won.

      Oh well.


  5. Jim Casey says:

    I believe that like Bill Russel, Kareem did not believe in signing autographs. He said he would shake hands or talk with fans.

    • hoopscoach says:


      I was never a fan of Jabber after that night. Always respected his game but we soured on him after turning us down.

      Here’s a question, recruiting that is. Name the last New York City player to attend UCLA?


    • bob terry says:

      Kareem is always happy to sign, especially his book, from which the proceeds go to his Skyhook Camp for children. He not big on pictures, a very reserved & perhaps shy guy. Russell, I can’t speak to, except when he played for USF, where my wife graduated from (she graduated much later; was actually a classmate of Quintin Dailey. Russell was the high point of USF’s program & Quintin was the low point, God rest his soul), but what a great player Russell was.

  6. jimmyvac says:

    I remember waiting by the parking lot at Shea waiting for autographs when I was a kid… some guys stopped all the time like Danny Friesella, other guys were hit or miss.. I’d rather talk to them or have a picture with them. I met my hoops hero Dave DeBusschere a few times and he was great. Wish I had gotten a picture with him.

    • hoopscoach says:


      It all depends on your approach and the amount of people there. I have comes across a few guys that never signed. Willie Stargell charged a dollar for an autograph. I believe the money went to Sickle cell anemia…

  7. Jim Casey says:

    The trivia answer–Kyle Anderson, born in NYC, raised in .nJ

  8. Laurie H. says:

    It’s not only kids who rarely go out anymore, it’s adults as well. Which is a shame. It’s summer, the weather is much better than the rest of the year, the air is beautifully fresh and there are so many opportunities what to do I cannot even count them. When I have kids one day, I will absolutely send them to do sports and take up multiple hobbies. Basketball and baseball are great choices, definitely. I would say, go outside and play or go outside and get active!

  9. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    I believe I have told you this story before, but when I lived on 13th St, a guy named Danny lived up the block..he went to Power..he would tell us about this guy on the team named “Lou” (was actually Lew, but who knew?) anyway, one day I came out of my house and saw the tallest person I had ever seen on the block…was Lew Alcindor…we had a group of kids on that block, he hung out for a little while, did not say much….

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