Great discussion on the school system in my previous blog. Thanks to the many readers who posted their comments – great input and insight into the educational system.
After reading about many of the Catholic blackboard havens that will be closing or have been closed, I had to think back to all the places I played basketball as a young, grammar school ballplayer for Holy Name.
Starting in the 3rd grade playing for Georgie Rauthier all the way to the 7th grade where I suited up for Danny Pisselli and the late Joe Farrell, Getting your name in the Tablet after a game was like seeing your name in the Daily News or Post. I got my name in every now and then.
I remember driving to places like Regina Pacis in Bensonhurst where a Steve Leondis led team crushed us 63-9. They had a bowling alley in the building.
Going to St. Finbar, also located in Bensonhurst and losing 29-3. Our only points came on a Frankie Cullen ‘traditional’ three point-play. As Marv Albert would say sitting courtside with Cal Ramsey, “YESSSSSSS, and it counts!” (I would be remiss not to mention Frankie’s coast-to-coast game winning drive against Brooklyn in the Holy Name Summer league in one of the biggest upsets in the history of basketball)
OLPH, their court was by far the longest I had ever played on.
Our Lady of Angels on 74th and 4th, it’s where I picked up my first technical foul as an overaggressive 6th grader. “Ref you suck!’ is what I said. This was back in 1976. And they say today’s kids are out of line?
Visitation in Red Hook, did they ever have a player that was NOT a ‘ringer’. Do they still call over-aged players ringers? Probably the greatest games I ever played in. Tyrone Williams, Keith Burroughs and I can never forget ‘Murray’, their coach. The games we played against them down P.S. 10’s were SRO. Birth certificates people, we want to see some sort of I.D.! They had kids with hair on their faces.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, it’s where a guy choked me as we were in transition. Serious, it was a Latrell Sprewell – PJ Carlesimo deal. While a member of Ty Cobbs, we were trying to get back on defense and some kid and I from OLG bumped into each other and all of a sudden this huge kid wraps his hands around my pencil-thin neck and I’m on the floor gasping for air. We decided we weren’t going to stand for that kind of play and promptly pressed them the rest of the game winning 74-4. Johnny G and I walked about 10 miles to get to that game!
St. Agnes, can’t recall if I ever played well against them – I guess I didn’t. Because you never forget the gyms you played well in.
St. Vincent Ferrer – all I recall is that tile floor that was hard as a rock. Hoping in Mr. Martin’s car on a cold Saturday morning in January was terrible.
Holy Family – that court was bad. 4th avenue and 14th street, rough neighborhood. Johnny Molava and Co. Pillars all over the place. But I scored a lot of points. Jeff Hect was their coach and it was my first experience with recruiting. “Steve, you may not see any light your first game.” he said to me. I never showed up for the game.
St. Mark’s with Louie Zito the scoring machine. Classic battles on Sunday nights playing against them. I recall some lady, an adult at that yelling at me as I walked out of the building, ‘Go back to Holy Name ya bunch of losers.’ Nice way to talk to a youngster, Miss.
IHM with Chris Ryan and the infamous fire extinguisher ordeal. Something that got out of hand after the game. Do you recall the long chute they had that led down to the locker rooms?
St. Mary Mother of Jesus, another school located in Benshonhurst. The original home of Father Devlin and Gerard Geneivive.
St. Patrick’s with Alan Sheehan. Hopy on the ‘F’ to 4th avenue for the ‘RR’ to 95th street.
St. Thomas Aquinas, home of Chris Mullin. Enough said.
St. Brendan’s, I enjoyed their summer league a lot better. Jocko Armstrong let me play in a game one night.
St. Rose of Lima with Tommy Sina, and The Baker Brothers. Can’t forget Gerard Byrnes, Louie and Ziggy.
And of course while I was in the 7th grade I would go down to St. Saviors on 8th avenue and 6th street and watch the Cullen’s play in Carl Manco’s league. Carl would post the scoring leaders up on a board high on the gym wall. This palce had to be the smallest gym in Brooklyn. They had the stage under one of the goal’s. David Quinn, younger brother of Colin was a scoring machine! Speaking of St. Savior, which happened to be pretty close to us, I hear Joe Ciazzo has a daughter that is a pretty good hoops player playing for the high school team. Remember Auncha Brown played there?
I’m sure I missed a school or two. If you have any memories of playing C.Y.O. basketball or even baseball, feel free to post them in the comments section below.
Blast from the Past: Jimmy Parker. Anyone remember him? Good dude. Good ball player. Last I heard he was working for the New York Sanitation department. He had hops!