Brooklyn Boro

Scholastic Roundup: There’s a new G.O.A.T.

June 18, 2021 Andy Furman
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Steve Sandler, who won the U.S. Handball Association Singles Championship in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973 and 1981 was elected to the Handball Hall of Fame in 1985.

“No question Sandler was great,” notes Spencer Ross, the New Utrecht grad who played basketball at Florida State and later called games behind the microphone for every New York City professional sports team – and the Boston Celtics. “But,” he adds, “he was far from the greatest.”

After reading last week’s Scholastic Roundup, Ross cites another Brooklynite who, he claims is the undisputed all-time greatest one-wall handball champion.

His name – Vic Hershkowitz.

Ross says Hershkowitz is a true Brooklyn legend.

His resume — 23 National Amateur titles, 40 National and International titles and 9 consecutive Three Wall Singles titles.
“He was a household name growing up in Brooklyn,” said Ross. “No question,” he says, “a one-wall champ would easily have beaten he best two-wall player and have a good chance against the best at the more popularly played two-wall game. Herskowitz’ dominance in three-wall makes it obvious he could have beaten the best at the two-wall game.”

In fact, Ross says that Herskowitz’ name was mentioned when it came to picking the most dominant New York City athlete – in the same sentence as Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and others who competed in the far more popular sports.

“He was virtually unbeatable,” Ross said.

The National Handball Association considers him to be the greatest all-around player in the history of the game.

Herskowitz attended Brooklyn’s Eastern District High School – the same as Hall of Fame basketball coach Arnold (Red) Auerbach.

And Ross reminds that Red was a pretty good handball player as well.

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He was four NBA championship rings – so people are probably stuck as to what to buy John Salley for his birthday.

The grad of Canarsie High, who played for the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Detroit Piston and the Toronto Raptors swears by a regime that includes cigars, whiskey and win along with yoga and health food, according to a recent report in the latest Cigar Aficionado Magazine.

His cigar tastes include Rocky Patel, My Father and Tatuaje, and Salley has notes for each.

“You must smoke the best,” said in the magazine. “People put a lot into these cigars. It is part of why I like them.”

Salley spends a lot of time with his cigars, sometimes to the consternation of those around him, the report said. “They say, ‘How long are you going to smoke that cigar?’ I say, ‘I don’t smoke the cigar. The cigar smokes itself. I just help it along.’”

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Stephen Arthur, a 53-year-old IT specialist who lives in North Park Slope used to bike two-miles round trip to work – daily.

When the pandemic hit, he never left hi 650-square-foot apartment and worked from home. Yet, he was 28 miles away from cycling 10,000 miles in 2020.

He completed his 10,000 miles on December 20th. He said he had never ridden that much before.

Arthur claims he was never one to track his exercise on fitness apps. But when he realized he was so close to the 10,000 mark he monitored his miles on Strava.

Based on Strava data, Arthur estimates he biked between 60% to 70% more due to Covid.

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While at Brooklyn College, Marty Markowitz (’70) as elected to SGS Student Government Council. In 2001 he was elected Brooklyn Borough President.

Barry Kreisberg, Lafayette class of ’67 e-mails Scholastic Roundup, and and says he loves reading about the “old neighborhood” from his new neighborhood in Israel. Kreisberg was an all-around athlete and was a star at Cropsey Park. His younger brother, Kenny played football for Lafayette.

The 1965 Erasmus Hall basketball team won the city title with such household names as Coak Cannon, Robert E. Lee, Oliver Shannon Carlton Screen and George Thompson.

Thompson made it to the NBA, but another Erasmus product, Stu Kerzner says, “Carlton Screen was probably a better baseball player than basketball.

Screen, like Kerzner, played college basketball at Providence – Screen played for coach Rick Pitino.

As for baseball, Screen later was quoted in the Providence Journal: “I saw Reggie Jackson get hit with a ball that the pitcher threw right at him. I got scared when I saw that and thought, ‘Baseball’s not for me.’ But I think I’ve gotten more bumps and bruises playing basketball than I’d have gotten if I had played baseball.”

Scholastic Roundup Quiz: Sent in by Jeff Schrier:

There were three professional athletes that attending the same high school at the same time and wound up playing three different professional sports in the same city at the same time:

Answer: Shawon Dunston – The No. 1 overall pick in the 1982 amateur baseball draft. Chicago Cubs

Otis Wilson, First round pick (#19) in the 1980 NFL draft. Chicago Bears

Sidney Green – First round pick in the NBA draft (1983) (#18) by the Dallas Mavericks.

All grads of Brooklyn’s Thomas Jefferson High School.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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