Playing Basketball Against St. John's Freshman Team

I was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Queens and went to HS in Manhattan.

When I was in HS, I hooped with a bunch of former HS hot shots who thought they were pretty good—and they were much better then me. One of these guys “arranged a game” against another team whom they thought they could handle. The game was scheduled on a Saturday morning at the park in Jackson Heights where we played all the time so our guys figured they had a “home court” advantage—metal chain nets and metal mesh backboards.
Turns out the other team was the St. John’s University Freshman team (back in the day when colleges had freshman teams)…I watched my hot-shot buds get absolutely demolished by group of players who were about the same age as my friends…and that was the only noteworthy comparison.
I’ll try posting who was on that St. John’s team a couple of years later, many of whom were on that freshman team.


I had to dig into my archives to come up with a few of the St. John’s players from that era, several of whom participated in the “beat-down” of my hoop buds…here’s a partial list. BTW, I specifically remember Willie Hall who lit the playground up on that Saturday:

Bob Larranaga, Willie Hall. Kevin Loughery, Tony Jackson, LeRoy Ellis and Donnie Burks. I think several of these kids went on to the NBA,


This is all very cool! A couple things:

  1. Your new name shall be tri-borough. TB, or B3 for short.

  2. Rucker Park. I saw a game live there in about 2000 or so and it was glorious. I have never seen a crowd and players in choreography like that. Watching games like that reveals the power atmosphere has when attracting fans.

  3. When you were there, the Knicks were consistently good. Did you get to any games at The Garden watching some of the epic 70’s teams?

  4. At one time, Brooklyn was the 9th biggest city in the US. Now I think Phoenix might be. Funny how things change.

And once upon a time Miami was the fourth largest college in America.

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Really? I had no idea! Was that in like 1815? Interesting.


Only caught a few Knicks Games back then…money was always an issue growing up…so there was that.

My Dad, who played college ball at LIU (Long Island University) took me to the Garden once to see the Bill Bradley Princeton Tigers take on the Cazzie Russell-led Michigan Wolverines. Mich. won 80-78…Russell had 27 and Bradley (an early version of Wally) hit for 41.


Hmmmm: analyzing my choices:

TB----serious medical condition
B3----too close to B2 for me.

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Ps, my dad played golf for Brooklyn College. The home course they played at was built over an old landfill (Dyker Park). One time, they were playing a match against Harvard and this dude light a cigarette and apparently everyone tackled him since there was free flowing methane gas in the air? At least that’s the story I remember.

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Could have been a BLAST !!! Glad it wasn’t.

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Wow. As a long-time Sixers fan, Kevin Loughery, and LeRoy Ellis are quite familiar.

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Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on Cadillac Cimarron. It said “All who wander are not lost” but then I saw the car make an illegal U-turn and drive down a one-way the wrong way. Anyhow, onward coach Box!

Ahem. If you had no idea you didn’t read Walter Havighurst’s book. No proud Miamian should ever have to admit that.