Brooklyn Boro

Scholastic Roundup: Brooklyn boasts 10 champions

June 28, 2024 Andy Furman
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The NBA Finals ended with the Boston Celtics becoming the 79th champion of the association.

And MaxPreps dug into the archives to explore which state has produced the most players on championship rosters. California leads the way with 72 NBA champions, including Kawhi Leonard, Tyson Chandler, Klay Thompson and 11-time winner Bill Russell.

New York is second on the list with 44. The Empire State produced legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Power Memorial High School; and Julius Erving, Roosevelt, L.I. In the 1948 finals, Connie Simmons from Flushing High School led the Baltimore Bullets in scoring.

Brooklyn has produced no less than 10 players on championship rosters; Steve Bracey, Midwood; Billy Cunningham, Erasmus Hall; Leroy Ellis, Jefferson; Jerry Fleishman, Erasmus Hall; Donnie Forman, Boys and Girls; Red Holzman, Franklin K. Lane; Vinnie Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt; Jack McMahon, St. Michael’s; Jim McMillian, Jefferson; and John Salley, Canarsie.

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The 2023-24 PSAL 3A Softball Championship was a rematch of the title game from a year ago. with No. 1 seed Tottenville High School from Staten Island meeting Rockaway Park’s Scholars Academy at Columbia University’s Baker Athletic Complex last week.

It was the Seawolves from Scholars Academy who scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat Tottenville, 2-0 for the title. At the same time, they got their revenge from last year’s championship game.

After Tottenville got the first out on an infield pop-up in the top of the seventh, Charlotte Theis got things going for the Scholars with a single up-the-middle. It was their first runner on base since the fourth inning.

Lauren Dorazio smacked a double down the left-field line and Theis scored from first. giving the Seawolves a 1-0 lead. Scholars Academy would score again after a single to left center from Kiara Frias.

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Fourteen schools, including four from Brooklyn, traveled to Francis Lewis High School in Queens to compete in the PSAL Girls’ Fencing Championships last month.

In foil, Brooklyn’s John Jay rallied to win first place in a strong showing against Bronx Science. John Jay was led by its trio of Nia Lawrence, Emily Wong and Isabel Tse.

In epee, top-seeded Beacon was upset by Francis Lewis, and Bronx Science’s dominant epee squad anchored by Elaine Lim took the title. Stuyvesant finished with the bronze, and Francis Lewis itself placed fourth.

Bronx Science won its third consecutive overall city title, with 198 points for first in epee and second place in foil. Francis Lewis finished second with 178 points, and Stuyvesant took the bronze with 167 points.

Finals Foil standings saw Brooklyn Tech, 10th; Benjamin Banneker High School, 13th, with John Jay first. Final Epee had Brooklyn High School of the Arts, sixth; John Jay 10th, with Bronx High School of Science on top. Final overall standings had John Jay, fifth (149 points); Brooklyn Tech, ninth (116 points); Banneker, 14th (46 points); and Bronx Science first with 198 points.

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Hank Lam remembers Bobby Beller, who was featured last week in the Brooklyn Eagle. “Bobby was a regular player at Manhattan Beach where the top players played in June, before guys headed to summer camps. He was probably one of the two top guards who ever played for New Utrecht,” Lam wrote. “The top guard was probably Howie Furman, who made First Team All-City in 1963. They both played together at New Utrecht.”

Beller graduated and later played for Harvard. “When Beller graduated in 1964,” Lam continued, “The First-Team All-City roster was stellar. That team consisted of Dave Newmark (Lincoln, later Columbia), Corky Bello (John Adams) and three tremendous guards — Larry Newbold (Benjamin Franklin, later a Hall of Famer for LIU), Eldridge Webb (Boys High and later Tulsa University), and Willie Worsley (DeWitt Clinton and later a guard on the Texas Western team that defeated the University of Kentucky for the 1966 NCAA Championship.)”

Lam went on to say that Beller was truly a tremendous player for the Utes. And Lam was not too shabby either. At Pace University, Lam was an all-Knickerbocker Conference basketball performer in 1967. The Sheepshead Bay High School grad played at Staten Island Community College before enrolling at Pace.

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Former Tilden High basketball coach Jeff Schrier had something to add for Hank Lam’s historical reference to the PSAL city basketball championships.

“What my good friend Hank Lam omitted from his 1962 story,” Schrier writes, “was that Boys High should never have played Wingate in the finals. In the semis,” he continues, “played in Madison Square Garden — my sophomore year at Lafayette — the Lafayette squad led by Gary David Goldberg (creator of “Family Ties,” “Brooklyn Bridge” and “Spin City”), Fred Grasso and Mike Pollack played Wingate down to literally the final second to a tie. When a referee called a phantom foul on Lafayette with no time left on the clock, Wingate hit one of two free throws to steal the game.”

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It must run in the genes. Ava Hershkovitz was named All-State in softball — she was a member of Archbishop Molloy High School’s championship squad.
Ava’s grandpa, Lenny, is a member of the New Utrecht High School football Hall of Fame.

As for those Molloy baseball Stanners, they took home the Catholic High School Athletic Association’s “AA” state title. After defeating Xaverian and Msgr. McClancy, they topped St. Francis Prep, 3-2 with a walk-off hit by junior shortstop, Pat DeSarno.

They beat St. Peter’s High School for Boys; Staten Island, for the city title with a no-hitter in Game 1 of the two-game sweep.

Next, it was St. Anthony’s turn — an 8-4 win — and a rematch with St. Peter’s, the No. 15-ranked team in the country for the state title. Molloy got its first varsity state baseball championship with an 8-0 victory. Junior Ryan McMenamin threw a complete game shutout, giving up only three hits while striking out six.

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LIU’s 4×100 meter relay team of Elehcio Scott, Makhi Theosmy, Joseph Fontes and Renaldo Alleyne-Noriega was named First Team all-Northeast Conference. The team put together an outstanding performance at the NEC Outdoor Championships, taking home gold medals with a season-best time of 41.04.
The LIU Athletics Golf Outing returns to Indian Hills Country Club, Northport, NY, July 15th.

The event will commence with a 10:30 registration and breakfast, followed by a noon shotgun start — dinner and an awards program follows golf play.
Information: Indian Hills Country Club, 21 Breeze Hill Road, Northport, N.Y. 11768.

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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