The 4th of July.
Takes me back to the days when we would get up early in the morning.
Hop on the F- train (or ride our bikes) to Manhattan Beach.
Play basketball all day long. It was usually a good run.
After the games, walk over to the beach for a bit. Check out the scene. Diggin’ the scene. Water, sand, ladies, music…
It was now time to head over to Brighton Beach. The boardwalk was always rockin’. Music, beer, people…
After checking out the scene, we would top it off with a trip to Coney Island and visit Nathan’s for a dog or two. The fries, a soft drink and of course the people and music.
Those were the days my friend…
Happy 4th of July.
Enjoy the day!
Winter of 1976.
I was 12 years old.
Playing basketball for Ty Cobbs.
We were undefeated that season, amazing group of players.
I was playing up, everyone on the team was 13.
Glenn Thomas, Jimmy Cullen, Michael Campbell, Ricky Ferro, Jimmy Corrar, Sean Riley, John Godfrey, Ty Williams, Keith Burroughs. We were coached by Danny Piselli.
We played St. Thomas Aquinas three times. Beat them all three times.
Chris Mullin was a member of STA.
Those were the days my friend…
My favorite team…
I would like to extend my condolences to The Ryan Family.
Thomas Ryan, a Holy Name alum passed away yesterday from his injuries that he suffered from a recent fall while working construction on the Verazanno Narrows Bridge.
I didn’t know him well but remember him as him being referred to as “Roachie” growing up.
When I first started to play basketball at Holy Name in 1972-73, I remember as a 9 year old Danny Piselli put Steve Finamore and myself on Ryan’s team in the Holy Name Summer League Little League.
I remember guys like Thomas Ryan, Joe Hurley, and the late Mike Routhier always treating us younger guys nicely as we were just starting out playing hoops.
May Thomas Ryan rest in peace.
As a young boy growing up on ninth avenue, I loved all sports. Basketball was my favorite.
When I was in the third grade I played on the Bantam ‘B’ basketball team at Holy Name of Jesus. It was the first time I was officially part of a team. When we got our uniforms I slept in mine that night.
Despite our awful overall record that season, I had a lot of fun.
We didn’t win a game. We sucked.
But I was playing ball with my friends so losing didn’t matter.
Eight years-old and I was learning a valuable lesson.
Georgie Rauthier was our coach. He made things fun. I recall those games we lost but whats stands out much more from those days is the joy Georgie brought to practice.
As I progressed as a player I fell in love with the game.
It was an incredible feeling for a young boy trying to find himself.
My father left our family when I was six so I turned to my basketball coach for guidance.
In the fourth grade I had the chance to play for Danny Piselli.
Danny instilled the discipline to this “undisciplined” young boy. Danny was a great teacher of the game. I learned so much from him. I was able to play for him two years later on a travel team, Ty Cobbs. Danny taught me how to play the right way.
The late Joe Farrell, better known around our neighborhood as “Fonz” was the third coach who helped me big time!
Fonz helped me with my confidence in the sixth grade. I was able to shoot the ball often. I once had 32 points against O.L.P.H. – I fouled out of the game and was assessed two tech’s. The ref tossed me from the gym. I gave the crowd the middle finger on my way to the locker room. They were yelling at me. Imagine that?
All three guys, Georgie, Danny and Fonz proved that you can have different approaches when coaching young athletes. They taught me many lessons over a short period of time. A very important time for a young boy.
The wonderful writer, J.R. Moehringer once said, “For a boy to become a man, he first must see a man.” I saw Georgie and Danny coach and teach, they made a huge impact on me.