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Scholastic Roundup: A special night for a special man

October 15, 2021 Andy Furman
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It was a special night – in honor of Tom Konchalski – at Archbishop Molloy High School on September 10th.

The New York City high school basketball super scout was honored and remembered by many.

“Almost everyone in the gym knew his number by heart as we have dialed it often,” said John Coman, a Tom K Foundation member. “That familiar number, the friendly, distinctive voice on the other end of the line, that gentle, contemplative visage on the top row of the stands is all gone now.”

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Coman is a cousin of Konchalski.

Konchalski spent 43 years evaluating college basketball prospects and ran the High School Basketball Insider Report since 1979. He also took over the ownership of the Five-Star Basketball Camp.

Konchalski passed at the age of 74 this past February.

His HSBI Report was mailed out 16 times-a-year to the more than 200 college coaches who subscribed to it – it was typed by Konchalski.

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski couldn’t attend because of the Basketball Hall of Fame activities in Springfield, Mass., yet he sent a message via a video.

“Tom made people better every day of his life. He gave thousands of youngsters the opportunity to make their lives better. It’s an honor to be part of Tom’s Team,” Coach K said.

Coach K got the Tom Konchalski Foundation off to a great start with a $100,000 donation.

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“If you can walk with kings,” coach Pete Gillen said, reciting Kipling, “and keep the common touch. Tom walked with the kings of the basketball world and in his humility treated everyone he met with kindness and respect.”

Gillen, the former basketball coach at Nazareth Regional High School, later coached at Xavier of Ohio, Providence and Virginia.

Hall of Fame basketball coach, Bob Hurley (St. Anthony’s of New Jersey) recalled that Tom took public transportation to Jersey City.

“I cannot begin to tell you,” he said, “how many times he always showed up – weddings, christenings, games, family gatherings – he was always there.”

Coach Steve Konchalski pointed to the gymnasium doors where 63 years ago Tom and he walked through together.

“I was 13 and he was 11. Archbishop Molloy High School changed our lives,” he said.

Former Bishop Ford High School basketball coach Ray Nash served as the evening’s emcee. He quipped that he was asked to emcee the event because, “everyone else was in Springfield (Basketball Hall of Fame).”

Nash announced that the Basketball Old Timers of America’s Hall of Fame dinner and inductions will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022 in Brooklyn at Siricco’s of Dyker Heights.

This dinner comes after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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Richie Amato has officially called Florida his new home.

The former Lafayette High basketball captain had a stellar career at Cornell University.

The three-year letter-winner played in 70 games (1969-72) – and never fouled out. The 6-4, 230-pounder shot a more than respectable 52% from the field, pulled down 513 rebounds and scored 851 points for a 12.2 points-per-game average.

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It was 50 years ago this week – October 4, 1971 to be exact.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Ken Dyer broke his neck while tackling Green Bay Packers – and former Ohio State and Jefferson High School’s – running back John Brockington during a game at Lambeau Field.

Brockington’s knee struck Dyer’s helmet as his head was going down.

Dyer was partially paralyzed, but he defied doctor’s predictions and eventually regained the use of his legs. He never played football again. He owned a dry-cleaning service in Arizona, and died in 2010.

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Scholastic Roundup e-mail bag:

From Rich Kosik, PSAL advocate:

“I’ll be looking for that book ASAP,” he writes, referring to Ben Cardinale’s novel Sunday Dinner.

“I just turned 75 and my wife Eileen and I have been living in Bay Ridge for just over 41 years – more than half our lives.

“I’m still earning my Brooklyn Stripes after growing up in Astoria and great friends and teammates have always offered me their hand of friendship. Brooklyn is still a special place.”

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


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