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Saturday was a great day in Queens high school sports history, as the Francis Lewis Patriots and the Cardozo Judges won the Public School Athletic League girls and boys basketball championships, respectively, at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The Cardozo game was a nail-biter as it wasn’t decided until the Judges’ Rashond Salnave hit two foul shots with less than three seconds left on the clock [see separate stories in some editions or at qchron.com].
Both teams were the de facto visitors as they played against two Brooklyn high schools, South Shore and Thomas Jefferson, respectively. Dave Diamante, the stentorian-voiced Brooklyn Nets public address announcer, admitted to me that he tried to put a little more enthusiasm into announcing Brooklyn baskets than those made by Queens players.
The Christ the King boys basketball team is now two wins away from calling themselves Catholic High School Athletic Association city champions.
The Royals, led by coach Joe Arbitello, defeated St. Raymond’s of the Bronx 77-53 on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the CHSAA Intersectional city tournament at Fordham University in the Bronx.
After all of the consternation about the weather and the first Super Bowl ever held in the New York metropolitan area, it was a pretty decent day by early February standards for all except the Denver Broncos. During Super Bowl week, perceptive lead Fox Sports voice Joe Buck told me that the weather was far worse in Dallas last year. He also pointed out that even though New York had a cold week, the conditions were far better than those in Southern cities as Atlanta and New Orleans.
Giants co-owner John Mara is one of the most accessible and likable sports executives you will ever meet. I was surprised that he wandered through the Super Bowl media party without any aides. “Even if you are not a football fan the energy and excitement of the Super Bowl raises the spirits of everyone living in the metropolitan area,” Mara told me. He concurred with my analogy of how even diehard Democrats enjoyed having the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004.
Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village has produced some of the city’s best and brightest basketball stars.
NCAA National Champion Tina Charles, three-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird and current college phenom Bria Smith were all Royals in their teenage years.
In a city the size of New York, politics and crime are often the biggest newsmakers, as was the case in 2013.
There was no shortage of political headlines this past year, an election year at that. Queens elected a new borough president while Forest Hills and Rego Park opted to bring back Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) for another term. Area politicians made their collective voices heard throughout the year, filling the Chronicle’s pages for months.
It seems as if you can’t be a key player for the St. John’s Red Storm unless head coach Steve Lavin has suspended you for at least one game for mysteriously violating team rules. Last year guard D’Angelo Harrison missed the last few games of the regular season, along with St. John’s futile appearance in the postseason NIT. Earlier this season center Chris Obepka was suspended for a pair of exhibition games for unsaid infractions.
This past Friday night it was hyped rookie guard Rysheed Jordan’s turn to sit out a game for unspecified bad deeds. Jordan, a big-time Philadelphia high school star, was supposed to be the best recruit to come to St. John’s since Lavin became head coach four years ago. Lavin and the St. John’s Sports Information Department decided before this season started that the media would not be able to interview him until January 2014 at the earliest. Obviously putting Rysheed in a cocoon has not been the foolproof plan that the St. John’s coaching staff thought it would be. At press time, Lavin did not indicate when Jordan would be reinstated.
“The ooooonly reason that I decided to come to Brooklyn was to win an NBA championship!” future Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett declared to the press at Nets media day on Sept. 30. He was speaking as well for his fellow ex-Celtics, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, who came to Brooklyn in the big trade that occurred last June.
But based on what we’ve seen in the first three weeks, the Nets look to be far from a lock to make the NBA playoffs, let alone win a championship. Garnett seems to be a shell of himself as he has had trouble putting the ball in the basket while rookie head coach Jason Kidd has gingerly limited his playing minutes. The same can be said of Pierce and Terry. While it is understandable that Kidd wants to be careful how he utilizes his older players to avoid injury, they will not shake off the rust unless they start playing more minutes.
The Big East conference has undergone some seismic shifts in the past few years as it has seen many members, such as Syracuse University, Boston College, the University of Miami and the University of Pittsburgh, bolt for the greener TV and licensing grass of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Last year, the Big East, which has been home to St. John’s University since the league’s formation in 1979, underwent its biggest reorganization as the seven Catholic universities without football teams — St. John’s, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, Providence, and DePaul — broke away from the nonsectarian schools that do, such as Louisville, Rutgers, and the University of Connecticut. The football schools are now in a conference called simply The American, while the basketball-only colleges retain the Big East name. The new Big East added Xavier, Creighton and Butler to make it a 10-team league.
Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) gets memos on his desk all the time. But one piece of information that crossed his desk in mid-June took him by complete surprise.
The memo explained that the city Department of Education is planning to co-locate a new school in the Martin Van Buren High School building in Queens Village and a vote on the proposal would come in October, only weeks before the Bloomberg administration is out of office.
Nets General Manager Billy King admitted that his team is taking a risk by hiring recently retired NBA point guard, as well as certain Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Jason Kidd to be the team’s new head coach, in light of the fact that he has no coaching experience.
I applaud King for taking this gamble since he was not going to be able to get Phil Jackson or one of the Van Gundy brothers, Jeff and Stan, to be the Nets head coach. King could have gone the safe route by a hiring a retread from the coaching ranks such as Mike Dunleavy or Scott Skiles but he realized that:
The Subway Series, which gets underway on Monday at Citi Field and concludes Thursday at Yankee Stadium, is a great way to take stock of our two Major League Baseball franchises. Last June the Mets dropped five out of six games against the Yankees, which served as a warning that their supposed terrific first half when they won 46 games was a mirage.
This year the Mets are not teasing their fans, as they have been playing at the low level that was expected of them before the season began. The Yankees, on the other hand, have been near or at the top of the American League East standings despite the loss to injuries of such household names as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Texeira and Curtis Granderson. Granderson has returned to the team but was replaced on the disabled list by veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte.
September 2014 will mark the end of an era as CBS, the network that has broadcast the championship matches of the US Open as far back as anyone can remember, will not renew its contract with the United States Tennis Association when it expires next year, the Queens Chronicle has exclusively learned.
On any given school day, throngs of students step off buses or the M train on Metropolitan Avenue — or walk from the nearby neighborhoods — and descend down the hillside toward the grand beige brick building that sits at the bottom of the valley.
Marching in packs, the groups of teenagers chat and laugh as they make their way into the iconic edifice for yet another day of learning.
Jack Curran, the legendary head coach of the men’s baseball and basketball teams at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, died Wednesday night at his home in Rye, NY.
Flushing native Steve Chubin spent his childhood playing on the basketball courts of Queens parks with his neighborhood friends. He went on to play for Forest Hills High School’s varsity basketball team before capturing the all-time scoring record at the University of Rhode Island. Now Chubin will join 15 former student-athletes and coaches to be inducted into the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Inaugural Men’s Basketball Legends on March 16 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
St. John’s University men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin jokingly calls himself the “Kindergarten Cop” over the lack of juniors and seniors on his team. But if he can keep his troops healthy and intact for a year or two, then the Red Storm should return to the NCAA Tournament — better known today as March Madness.
Red Storm fans will have to be patient, however, because it probably won’t be this year, based on Sunday’s 63-47 loss against their old Big East nemesis, the Pittsburgh Panthers, at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks did not ask their fans to observe a moment of silence on the passing of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch Friday night but they did put his photo and pictures of his life on the Jumbotron during the first quarter. In a moment that Koch would surely have loved, the crowd cheered mightily.
It was the least the Knicks could have done, not just because they are a New York-based NBA franchise but because in 1982 Mayor Koch gave the then-owners of Madison Square Garden, Gulf & Western, a permanent exemption from paying New York City real estate taxes. Veteran sports business author and lecturer Evan Weiner estimates that over the last 30 years the Garden has saved roughly $300 million cumulatively from Koch’s largesse.
Beginning Sunday, Catholic schools all over the country will take a week out of their school year to celebrate Catholic schools and the role they play in educating young Americans of all faiths.
The annual celebration organized by the National Catholic Education Association, promotes Catholic education nationwide, but locally every diocese and school has its own way of celebrating it.
A Queensbridge Houses native plans to reach out to disadvantaged youth with marketing.
Leonard Adams, 28, said he grew up on the basketball courts at the nation’s largest public housing complex. His grandmother, Nina Adams, who volunteered with the tenant association for decades, raised him and had a strict in-before-sundown rule.
It’s a bleak sports landscape in the Big Apple as we close out 2012. The Jets are mercifully finishing their disastrous 2012 campaign in Buffalo while the Giants’ playoff hopes are on life support as they play the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium and have to pray that other NFL game outcomes work in their favor this Sunday. Hockey fans have had to endure the dreary lockout that the National Hockey League team owners have imposed on their players. The Brooklyn Nets, despite an improved roster and quick start, have struggled mightily this month and are starting to remind us of those putrid New Jersey Nets teams of the last five years.
The Knicks, though, have been a team that has surpassed expectations. While they were certainly considered to be a playoff-caliber team before the start of the season eight weeks ago, few thought that they would be battling LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Miami Heat for the top spot in
the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference. Their success is even more amazing when you consider that they have not had the services this season of two key players, guard Iman Shumpert and perennial all-star forward Amar’e Stoudemire, both of whom have been battling an array of injuries.
David Wright’s productive season was a rare bright spot for Mets fans in 2012. With one year remaining in his contract, David picked a good time to finally feel at home at Citi Field, a place where he had struggled for the first three years of its existence.
Mets owner Fred Wilpon was quoted in New York magazine as saying that Wright, while a good player, was not a superstar. Wilpon may have been right, but the reality is that his woebegone organization had no choice but to re-sign Wright to the most lucrative contract in Mets history. Had the Mets traded him, Citi Field would have resembled the ghost town that Shea Stadium was in the late 1970s following Tom Seaver’s departure.
Thanksgiving wasn’t the first time the Jets have been humiliated by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and it probably won’t be the last. What made things abominable was how the Jets, and QB Mark Sanchez in particular, looked like the Keystone Kops of the silent film era as they gave up an incredible three touchdowns in 52 seconds in the second quarter in front of a national TV audience. The middle TD will be on blooper reels for years, as Sanchez fumbled the ball after running into the derriere of a fellow Jet, guard Brandon Moore.
Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan’s future is shaky not only because his team has been blown out numerous times this season but because of a questionable personnel decision prior to the Pats game. Tim Tebow apparently had broken some ribs in practice. Common sense called for Greg McElroy to serve as Sanchez’s understudy for the night. But McElroy’s in the doghouse because he went public with the dissension that wracked the team last year, and Rex is apparently still nursing a grudge.
Just as the fall general manager meetings got under way in the Palm Springs area, the Mets announced that they were going to buy the remaining year on outfielder Jason Bay’s contract. It’s estimated the overall cost to the team is in the range of $21 million.
It’s debatable which expensive free agent signing was more disastrous for the Mets: the three-year, $36 million contract given to pitcher Oliver Perez or the four-year, $66 million pact with Bay. But it should be pointed out that while there was some concern over Perez’s work ethic, Bay literally, to borrow a phrase Mitt Romney used in his concession speech, left it all on the field as he suffered concussions by running into walls and fences chasing after long fly balls as well as getting nailed by a fastball into his batting helmet.
Olympians and former All-Americans will be among nine players, coaches and staff inducted into the Queens Collece Sports Hall of Fame in a cremony to be held on Oct. 13.
•Lou DeLuca was captain of the hockey team and its most valuable player, playing from 1968 to 1972. He also played on the baseball and lacrosse teams, and coached the school’s hockey team from 1972 to 1974.