Here’s proof Lincoln is a basketball powerhouse

August 20, 2022 Andy Furman
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New York is an undisputed high school basketball powerhouse – and home to 33 players who took to the court in NBA games during the 2021-22 season, including Carmelo Anthony, Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris, Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker among others.

The Empire State produced the No. 7 high school basketball team in the MaxPreps Top 25 this year in Cardinal Hayes (Bronx), which went 28-1 en-route to the New York Federation state title.

So where do the Cardinals stack-up against the top teams in the state – here’s the list:

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The Top 10 teams in New York State since 2000:

  • Niagara Falls, 2004-05, Record: 28-1
  • McQuaid (Rochester) 2002-03, Record: 27-1
  • Rice, 2001-02, Record: 29-2
  • LINCOLN, 2007-08, Record: 29-4, National Ranking No. 11

That Lincoln team featured Darwin Ellis, Justin Greene, Khalif Staten and Lance Stephenson. They captured the school’s second-consecutive Federation Class AA state title, 86-67 over Holy Cross behind a team-high 20 points from Ellis, while Stephenson chipped in with 16 points and 12 rebounds and Staten had 14 points on six-of-six shooting.

Stephenson went on to be named New York Mr. Basketball as a senior and set a new state record for scoring with 2,946 career points. His record that was broken by Joe Girard III in 2018.

  • Long Island Lutheran (Brookville) 2019-20, Record: 22-3
  • Rice, 2008-09, Record: 24-3
  • Cardinal Hayes, 2021-22, Record:  26-3
  • Mount Vernon, 2003-04, Record: 27-3
  • LINCOLN, 2002-03, Record: 31-4, National Ranking No. 13

Lincoln featured Jamal Dart, Tone Pena, Deshawn Summers and Sebastian Telfair on that squad.  Although junior Telfair fouled-out with 5:12 remaining in the fourth quarter and Christ the King took a 65-57 lead with 4:23 left in the contest, the Railsplitters showed resilience to push the game into overtime and escape with a 75-73 win over the Royals in the Class A Federation title game. Pena, a 6-7 sophomore, proved to the the hero, scoring eight of his team’s 10 points in overtime.

  • Rice, 2007-08, Record: 24-4

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There are now a pair of former LIU baseball players overseas. Recent LIU baseball graduate Ryan Mullahey has joined Luke Turner in Germany as a member of the Elmshorn Alligators in the Bundesliga.

Turner recruited Mullahey after a former Marist College student-athlete had to withdraw from playing with the team due to injury. Mullahey appeared in 11 games for LIU this past season, starting two games at first base. He spent four years with the Sharks and was a member of the NEC championship team in 2022. LIU has enjoyed a bevy of signings since the completion of the season at the NCAA Regional in Maryland. Joshua Loeschorn and Nick DeSalvo have signed in the Frontier League and Joshua Gainer in the Pioneer League.

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Former Bishop Loughlin High School and St. John’s University basketball standout Julian Champagnie signed a two-way contract with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. This contract grants the team flexibility to send Champagnie back-and-forth between the NBA roster and the G-League affiliate.

Lauren Szerencsits has been named head athletic trainer at St. Joseph’s University. She received her BA and MA in Athletic Training from LIU in 2018. Prior to joining the Bears last month, she served as head athletic trainer at Bigfork High School in Kalispell, Montana.

Szerencsits began working in intercollegiate athletics with student placements at St. Francis College, Rice University and Lehigh University. She played an instrumental role in the Rice Owls’ 2017 trip to Australia for their participation in the Sydney College Football Cup against Stanford; preparing training and medical necessities for international travel.

Forty-six St. Joseph’s University student-athletes were recognized on the 2021-22 Winter/Spring Skyline Conference Academic Honor Roll. Of the 46 Bears to receive the honor, 27 have earned the distinction in previous seasons. A trio of softball seniors – Alexis Buchanan, Ashleigh Hartwig and Jessica Mecham – graduate as four-time honorees. Softball led all winter/spring teams with 17 honorees.

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The Pratt Institute had 94 student-athletes named to the 2021-22 Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Conference All Academic team. Student athletes in one or-more C2C championship sports that attain a 3.20 grade-point-average for the academic year earn a spot on the All-Academic team. Pratt had 94 of 125 eligible student-athletes earn the honor. The 75% of student-athletes was the highest percentage in the conference.

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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