Brooklyn Boro

Scholastic Roundup: From one hall of famer to another

November 3, 2023 Andy Furman
Scholastic Roundup logo
Share this:

Leave it to Spencer Ross to find a good Ronnie Nunn story. 

Nunn, the kid who averaged 26 points a game at Brooklyn Tech High — and was named to the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame last week — developed a lifelong friendship with Leon Gecker.

“Leon was one of my closest friends,” Ross a member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame as well, told the Eagle. “Gecker taught at Brooklyn Tech for 37 years.”

Leon played college basketball at Seattle University with the great Elgin Baylor, Ross said. “And Leon’s brother, Harold, was fun to be around.”

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

Leon attended James Madison High School and was an All-American basketball player in 1957. He was inducted into the Seattle University Collegiate Athletic Hall of Fame

“They were close to another great basketballer — Doug Moe, who went to Erasmus Hall High School,” said Ross, soon to be inducted in the Brooklyn Sports Hall of Fame. 

“Doug gave Ronnie a tough time,” said Ross. “That was when Doug Moe coached the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, and Ronnie Nunn was an NBA official.”

In fact, Nunn’s legacy will be the 1,134 regular-season games in the NBA, 73 playoff games and four NBA Finals he officiated.

“Well,” Ross continued, “Moe was stomping his feet and yelling at Ronnie; Nunn hit Moe with several technical fouls, but Nunn was tiring from his outburst.”

The Gecker brothers gave Nunn a solution — and in the next confrontation with Moe, Nunn stopped him in mid-sentence.

“Stop where you are, don’t ever do this again,” Ross recalled Nunn’s advice to Moe. “The Gecker brothers have told me they hired a hit man to take you out if you ever challenge me again,” Nunn was heard saying.

Doug Moe stopped on a dime, looked at Nunn and laughed loudly. With a big smile on his face, Moe walked back toward his bench. He never challenged Nunn again.

“That’s a true story,” Ross said.


*                      *                           *

Spencer Ross started his Hall of Fame career in the schoolyard at P.S. 103, on 14th Avenue. The New Utrecht High School grad turned pro in 1967 as the very first announcer for the New Jersey Americans in the American Basketball Association. 

Former Boston Celtics Hall of Fame coach Arnold (Red) Auerbach lured the kid from 1335 50th St. in Borough Park to Boston to call their games in 1995.

Ross has done play-by-play for the New York Stars (World Football League), New York Sets (World Team Tennis), won the first Emmy Award for any New York Yankee announcer and called pre-season on television for both the New York Giants and New York Jets.

“My spotter for the Giants’ games was a law student – John Mara,” he said. His dad (Wellington) owned the club. “And Roger Goodell — the present-day NFL Commissioner — was my spotter for Jets games.”

With the exception of the New York Mets, Ross has called play-by-play for every professional New York Metropolitan area franchise, including the Yankees of MLB, the Nets and Knicks of the NBA and, in the NHL, the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and New York Rangers.

*                      *                           *

New Utrecht pushed their season football record to 2-4 with a 14-6 Homecoming victory over Eagle Academy of Ocean Hill, last Friday evening.

Coach Alan Balkan’s Utes rolled up 170 total yards —155 rushing. The Green and White meet Bayside High School, Sunday.

The Tigers of Fort Hamilton High School saw their three-game football win streak come to an end Friday night with a 22-14 loss to Cardozo High.

Coach Daniel Perez’ squad ran 51 plays to Cardozo’s 45 and had 128 passing yards to 64.

Cardozo out-rushed the Tigers, 140-78.

Junior quarterback Aidan Farley was 13-for-33 for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Running back August Porter, a junior rushed for 62 yards on 11 attempts and senior wide receiver Emmanuel Dimitrakios hauled-in four receptions for 61 yards and a score.

The Tigers are 3-3-1 overall and an even 3-3 in PSAL league play.

*                      *                           *

Two-time breast cancer survivor Michele Perrone dropped the ceremonial first puck before the LIU men’s hockey team’s game against Saint Anselm, Saturday night.

Her son participated in that moment as the Sharks’ representative during the pregame ceremony at center ice. Goaltender Brandon Perrone then produced his first career shutout in a 4-0 victory against the Hawks at Northwell Health Ice Center. Perrone made 17 saves in the victory.

“It was honestly surreal for me,” Brandon Perrone said in a post-game prepared statement. “I was getting emotional during the puck drop. She deserves the world. I play for her, and my nanna, who suffered with breast cancer as well.”

*                      *                           *

Emil Jaaskelainen was honored during a pre-game Senior Day ceremony Sunday afternoon. The striker then became only the second Division I player this season to score four goals in a match as the LIU men’s soccer team remained in contention for the Northeast Conference title with a 6-3 victory against LeMoyne at LIU Soccer Park. 

All of Jaaskelainen’s goals against LeMoyne came in the opening 34 minutes, 24 seconds. His goal total was the most by an NEC player since Saint Francis U’s Calvin Rezende had four against FDU on Oct. 25, 2015.

Maggie Culp broke into the goal-scoring column in a big way, Saturday. A senior left winger, Culp produced her first hat trick as well as her first goals of the season as the LIU women’s hockey team completed a two-game sweep of host Franklin Pierce with a 4-1 victory.

The Sharks football team evened their record at 2-2 in the NEC with a 24-23 win over Central Connecticut State last week. Tight end Owen Glascoe threw another touchdown pass, this time 15 yards to Leak Bryant and Michael Coney converted the extra point to give the Sharks the decisive one-point lead late in the third quarter.

LIU returns to action Saturday at Saint Francis U.

*                      *                           *

Needing only two kills to reach 1,000 for her career, senior outside hitter Ashley Fung reached the milestone on the second point of the second set as the Brooklyn College women’s volleyball team went on to sweep New Jersey City, 3-0 at the West Quad Center last week. Fung becomes the first player in program history to put away 1,000 kills for their career.

With the program’s best finish since 2009, the Brooklyn College men’s cross-country team took home a third place from the 2023 CUNYAC Championships Sunday at Van Cortlandt Park. The Bulldogs had two top-10 finishers on the day in Christian Montelibano and Azizjon Sharifov. Hunter College won the conference title followed by John Jay in the 8K event.

Montelibano finished first for BC and seventh overall in a pool of 60 four-year runners with a time of 30:35.9. Sharifov finished just behind his teammate, taking eighth place in 30:39.9.

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