Transit Tech basketball is on the express track
Last year was no fluke.
Kenneth Hafford is making sure of that.
The 53-year-old Hafford is the varsity basketball coach at Transit Tech High School. He’s been at the job five years and last year, his Express was on a roll – they were ranked No. 1 in both New York City and New York State.
Heartbreak came when they lost the PSAL City Championship to powerhouse Murry Bergtraum.
Well, Transit Tech is still running on that express track. They’re 15-1 overall and a perfect 12-0 in PSAL play.
A dynasty? Perhaps. Why?
“Everyone and every team has talent,” Hafford told the Brooklyn Eagle. “What sets us apart is toughness. We play tough defense and an up-tempo offense.”
Hafford says his team loves to play defense, loves to run.
“Our team,” he said, “is like a match made in heaven.”
But its hell on the opponents.
Oh, if you’re wondering, that one loss was during a trip to Maine where the Express dropped their only game to Maine’s top-ranked ballclub.
As for Maine, well, that’s home for Hafford. “I was born in Presque Isle, Maine,” he said, “but there was no island.”
He said – believe it or not – everything was basketball in that small town. “It was like the movie Hoosiers.”
After graduation – make that two weeks after high school graduation – Hafford was in Boot Camp with the Marines.
But it was always basketball for him. “I love the game,” he said.
He attended Queens College – but didn’t play basketball – and then he followed his dream – coaching basketball.
“First it was the boys jayvee at Franklin K. Lane High School, then the girls varsity,” he said. “Then it was Transit Tech. I coached the jayvee three seasons before I got called up to the varsity,” he laughed.
The wait was worth it.
“We have 14 guys who love our style of play,” Hafford said, “We have everyone back from last year’s squad, and honestly I think we can be even better. We have a better defense than last year.”
His squad is city wide. “We have players from Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, all over,” he said.
Transit Tech is a CTE Vocational School, and allows students to attend from all boroughs.
Transit Tech offers a comprehensive curriculum of technical and academic programs that prepare students to be both college and career ready. “Through our college and industry partners, including our unique partnership with the New York City Transit Authority, students access college-level and advanced placement pre-engineering/STEM courses, in addition to paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities that lead to lucrative careers,” he said.
And an outstanding basketball program.
Junior Ashton Reynolds leads the team with his 20 points-per-game along with eight rebounds each contest. “He’s a star and getting some real attention from some Division I college coaches,” Hafford said.
Seniors Garelle Solomon at 16, Xavier Sanchez with 15 and Temitope Alao at 14 per-contests round out the Express balanced scoring.
The Express play in their tiny gym on Wells Street, but adds Hafford, “We have a home court advantage. Our support is great with the faculty and we have a great vibe with our deejay.”
The goal – a PSAL City title this season.
“Everyone wants to win a championship,” Hafford said, “but we’d like to win it mostly for the people of East New York, the community and of course, the Transit Tech family.”
The Express is on the right track.
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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