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Scholastic Roundup: Celebrating the Fourth with her heritage

July 27, 2023 Andy Furman
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LIU women’s lacrosse standout Harper Skeie spent the Fourth of July weekend balancing celebrating America’s birthday with her family’s heritage.

Skeie, a rising sophomore attacker/midfielder, represented Team Italy in the World Lacrosse Festival in San Diego. Players with collegiate lacrosse experience who have Italian ancestors were eligible for the team.

Skeie played in honor of her grandmother and great-grandmothers. The team went 6-0 and won the event’s championship.

The U.S. men’s national team defeated Canada in the finals of the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship at San Diego State University.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Skeie, who hails from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., appeared in seven games as a freshman last season. She tallied two goals, one assist, five ground balls and three caused turnovers.

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LIU women’s hockey assistant coach Shelly Picard had the opportunity to work with National Hockey League prospects while honing her coaching skills this summer.

Picard, who joined the Sharks staff this summer, was one of three guest coaches invited to the Buffalo Sabres’ development camp at LECOM Harborcenter, the NHL club’s training facility, earlier this month.

The camp included Sabres prospects, including 2023 draftees.

The invite came via the NHL Coaches’ Association, which aims to increase the league’s diversity. Picard also has been involved in programs with the NHLCA’s Female Coaches Development Program.

Similarly, LIU men’s hockey coach Brett Riley recently spent time working with New York Rangers prospects.

An Olympic silver medalist and four-time IIHF World Champion, Picard spent the 2021-22 and ’22-23 seasons as an assistant with Princeton. She joined her former Metropolitan Riveters teammate, LIU head coach Kelly Nash, this summer.

Prior to entering coaching, Picard was a standout defenseman at Harvard. She was a three-time All-Ivy League selection and, in 2015, was a key contributor to the Crimson’s run to the national championship game.

Between her sophomore and junior seasons, Picard and Team USA earned a silver medal at the 2014 Olympics.

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Stuart (Stuie) Feigenblatt’s e-mail found its way to Scholastic Roundup.”

“I was born in 1952, lived in Kensington, Brooklyn on Tehama Street. I attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush High School on Avenue J, graduating class of 1970.”

Feigenblatt mentions he was a member of the Erasmus Hall varsity basketball team, coached by the legendary Bernie Kirsner.

“He (Kirsner) coached both schools in the 1960s,” he said. “The Flatbush Jewish Center on Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway sponsored basketball tournaments called the Interfaith Games, featuring the top high school basketball players in New York City who played for various teams — CYO, synagogue teams, etc.,” he said.

The athletic director of the temple (FJC) was Herbie Goodman, assisted by Hy Srebnik, Feigenblatt recalled.

Feigenblatt said he attended Billy Cunningham’s basketball camp — Camp Kittatinny in Lake Como, Pennsylvania. The camp was jointly-owned by Kirsner.

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Brandon Tierney has a new radio partner on WFAN (660-AM) — Sal Licata. Tierney played Catholic Youth Organization baseball and basketball at Good Shepherd Parish, Marine Park.

Tierney and Licata can be heard daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Charlie O’Donnell, who played basketball and baseball at St. Teresa of Avila, Prospect Heights – and later at Bishop Loughlin High School – died at the age of 81 last month.

O’Donnell earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Loyola, Baltimore, where he also played baseball.

In 1964, he served as teacher and basketball coach at St. Augustine High School, Park Slope. When the school closed in 1967, he took a job as the basketball coach and athletic director at Bishop Reilly High School, Fresh Meadows.

When Bishop Reilly High closed six-years later, he moved to Msgr., McClancy High School, where he served as athletic director for the next 32 years.

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When Dick Bavetta retired from the ranks of NBA officials following the 2013-14 basketball season, he left behind a remarkable record for consistency. In 39 years of officiating basketball games at the highest level, the former Wall Street stockbroker never missed an assignment.

The result was 2,635 straight games, the ironman record for professional sports.
In 1975, the St. Francis-Brooklyn and Power Memorial High School alumnus became a full-time referee.

In 1992, Bavetta became the first NBA official to call a game in the Olympics. Bavetta blew the whistle in 27 NBA Finals games and more than 250 playoff games.

His game on April 12, 2013 in Washington was his 2,600th consecutive game as an NBA official.

Bavetta was born in Park Slope neighborhood and graduated St. Francis in 1962. He was a member of the Terrriers’ basketball squad. Bavetta’s brother, Joe, who officiated for the American Basketball Association, convinced him that it would be an interesting career. A Wall Street broker for Salomon Brothers with an MBA in finance from the New York Institute of Finance, Bavetta began officiating games between fellow brokers in the Wall Street League, played at New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. He later worked high school (PSAL and CHSAA) games for 10 years; and for nine more years officiated in the Eastern Professional Basketball League, which later became the Continental Basketball Association.

He made his NBA debut on Dec. 2, 1975 at Madison Square Garden in a game between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.

“He would ref our games at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn Heights,” former St. Francis College baseball coach Dan Lynch, Jr. writes. “He would do the game with whomever he was doing the Knick game that night (against NBA rules). He did it because he was such a great guy; he knew how much it meant to us and the high school players to have him there.”

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Maaike Broersma is among the elite student-athlete swimmers in the nation.
She has been named a second-team Scholar All-American by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association and was the lone Northeast Conference student-athlete to receive the honor.

Those selected for the second team produced a 3.50 GPA for the academic year and met the “B” time standard for the national championship or participated in a diving zone qualification meet.

The LIU junior from Bodegraven, Netherlands, earned Swimmer of Meet at the NEC Championships after becoming the only swimmer to win three events. She was the conference’s only swimmer at the meet to earn the NCASA “B” cut.

Broersma’s feats this past academic year included setting program records in the 50 free (23.02), 50 back (25.91), 100 back (53.83) and 200 back (1:456.85) at the NEC Championships.

She also set the program record in the 200-medley relay (1:41.67) and in the 400-medley relay (3:43.19) with teammates Venna Andersen, Ella Johnson and Aidan Condit at the conference event.

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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