Brooklyn Boro

Scholastic Roundup: There’s a spot on Mt. Rushmore for these PSAL coaches

February 11, 2022 Andy Furman
Scholastic Roundup logo
Share this:

One of the very best.

That’s how you’d describe Floyd Bank.

He spent 20 years at Long Island City High School coaching basketball. He moved on to Thomas Edison where he spent an additional 15 years coaching.

During that period, he compiled a 550-241 won-loss record. He described his time as being tough, sometimes having to put four-to-five students into his car and travel to games.

Bank left Edison High in 2001 to take a position at Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus.

A member of the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame, he retired as the coach with the most wins in the PSAL.

Cardozo High’s Ron Naclerio’s 30-year career has seen him accumulate more than 800 wins in the PSAL.

Naclerio started his high school coaching career in 1981 after serving as an assistant under Al Matican. In his first season he went 1-21. The second year he went 21-4.

By 2011, he had reached 600 wins and eventually broke the record of wins by a PSAL coach when he reached 723 passing Andrew Jackson’s Chuck Granby.

Naclerio has already won two PSAL City Championships.

*                            *                                    *

Speaking of legendary Brooklyn high school basketball coaches how can you omit “Jammy” Moskowitz from James Madison High School?

By the way, if you didn’t know “Jammy’s” first name — Harry.

The name “Jammy” stuck to him in high school from eating jam sandwiches to ease his queasy stomach before basketball games.

Moskowitz, who began coaching at Madison in 1926, led his teams twice to New York City PSAL championships – and lost two others in the finals. During the years 1937 to 1940, Moskowitz’s teams won 37 consecutive games, only losing one game out of 54 wins.

His coaching produced stars like Los Angeles Laker NBA forward and Dartmouth all-American Rudy LaRusso, and – what Moskowitz considered more important – sent nearly all his players on to college.

Moskowitz’s lifetime record at James Madison – 475 wins, 198 defeats.

*                            *                                  *

Moskowitz was a tremendous athlete at Commercial High School – he starred in basketball, football and baseball – and led the basketball team to the 1923 PSAL championship.

He began playing professionally in 1924 with independent teams in New York City. In 1925, Marty Friedman recruited him to play for the Cleveland Rosenblums in the newly-formed American Basketball League.

Moskowitz turned down the offer because he had begun coaching at James Madison High School – a position he would hold for four decades. His teams captured the city basketball title in 1939 and 1943 and overall won 547 games against 224 losses.

In 1928-29, he did play in the ABL for the New York Hakoahs.

*                                 *                              *

Keith Dambrot, head coach of Duquesne’s men’s basketball team, is the nephew of Irwin Dambrot, a star of the 1950 CCNY team that won both the NCAA and NIT tournaments, and who was later implicated in the 1951 point-shaving scandal.

Keith also coached LeBron James in high school for two years.

Keith’s dad, Sid was Irwin’s younger brother, and, like Irwin, was recruited to CCNY by Bobby Sand. Sid transferred to Duquesne when the scandal broke.

*                             *                                  *

Marques Watson is a 6-5 senior on the Manhattan College basketball team.  He lettered at Bishop Loughlin High School and Thomas Jefferson High where he earned Honorable Mention All-City honors as a Loughlin sophomore – he was named Freshman MVP.

As a junior, he scored a career-high 12 points, on five-of-10 shooting, with three rebounds and two assists against Monmouth.

Barry Friedman was a member of the 1969 Lafayette High basketball squad – a team co-captained by Bobby Castagna and Bruce Auerbach.

Today, just call him Dr. Friedman. He received his PhD. Degree from The Ohio State University. He teaches courses in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior.

He has 25 years of industry experience with ExxonMobil, Xerox and Harris Interactive where he served in various positions, including Director of Training and Development, Internal Consultant and Human Resource Manager.

Dr. Friedman currently teaches and conducts research in the USA and Germany, and has taught in Singapore, Turkey, China and Japan. He is the founder and chair of the Human Resource Center for Excellence, at the State University of New York at Oswego.

As for his high school teammate – Castagna is assistant basketball coach at Siena College in Loudonville, New York.

*                             *                                *

Cleaning out the Scholastic e-mail bag:

From Howard Kellman, the Sheepshead Bay High grad who has been the voice of baseball’s Indianapolis Indians for over 50 years: “Does 95-year-old Carl Erskine still have his sense of humor? Well, we spoke on the phone for a few minutes and then he said, ‘Howard you sound good. Did you ever think of going into broadcasting?’”

Erskine played for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1948 through 1959. He was a pitching mainstay on Dodger teams which won five National League pennants, peaking with a 1953 season in which he won 20 games and set a World Series record with 14 strikeouts in a single game. Erskine pitched two of the NL’s seven no-hitters in the 1950s.

From former St. Francis College baseball coach, Dan Lynch: “I remember going to a Nazareth High basketball game where (coach) Pete (Gillen) called all five of his timeouts in the first two-minutes of the game.

“After the game, someone asked him, ‘Why did you use all of your time-outs in the first two minutes?’ Pete said: “The train was going in the wrong direction.”

One of the guys there was a hoops fan with a twisted perplexed look on his face, according to Lynch.

Lynch said: “Let’s go…Pete will explain it to you over a few beers at Farrell’s.”

(Farrell’s Bar and Grill, 215 Prospect Park West.)

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.


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment