Friday, May 14, 2010

Local College Stuff and Calvin Chamberlain

The going home services for Calvin Chamberlain was held yesterday in Hackensack NJ, and what a send off it was. Calvin must be pleasantly surprised as he watches from Heaven all the love people have for him. You would have to be part of the local AAU/Rec/HS basketball scene to really understand the importance of guys such as Calvin. From a distance an outsider would never understand what relationships mean when it comes to grass root athletic programs.

Calvin was a true Ambassador for all the great things we can talk about in a sentence that includes AAU, Street Teams, and community programs. Low key and very humble, all he wanted to do was be a part of something positive for kids. He made all the kids he came into contact with feel as if they were special. Even those destined for Division 5. That's not a typo folks I said D5. That means these kids most likely could not even buy themselves a scholarship to the worst D3 school in the country. But in Calvin's eyes they really had a chance to be good. All of them! He was known to meet kids at FDU and beg the FDU Staff to allow them to attend summer camp for free because they came from families who at that time could not pay. Funny thing is most could not pay, nor could they play. But Calvin felt an obligation to help them. He did this for years proudly wearing a Riverside Hawk shirt around Harlem and The Bronx as he helped out.

When Calvin moved to Bergen County NJ he continued to reach out to any kid that wanted assistance. Often piling kids into his car and taking them into NY for a Riverside workout. Most of those kids were only good enough for the Riverside B team, which just might have been established to help kids Calvin worked with.

The turnout was larger than the crowds at many local D1 games. He sold the place out and those who came were a whose who in tri state basketball. Ron Brown the FDU Associate Head Coach spoke as well as Al Eford a former NYC guy who now coaches HS basketball in Maryland. Also in attendance were Dermon Player the ex Seton Hall Assistant, Mike Mcawaine (Sp) a great coach who last was Head Coach at Pace University and a Riverside leader, Mo Hicks the Head Coach presently at Rice HS, Jim Salmon the head of the Playaz Basketball Club, Tim O'Toole the ex Head Coach at Fairfield University, Kenny Pretlow the Lincoln HS Assistant and Riverside Coach, and many others who came out to show support for one of their own.

Well, rest in Peace Calvin! But knowing Calvin as many of us do, he is in Heaven organizing workouts for alot of kids he feels can be good even when others think the opposite.

Robinson and Hazell return to SHU for next season means trouble for many teams in the Big East and a great present for Coach Willard . What a way to go into next season as a 1st time BE Coach. Makes the job a bit less difficult. Or it could put serious pressure on the SHU coaching staff. Add Herb Pope to the mix and it could be great times in Newark at the Prudential Center.

I really like that Mike Rice picked up a great addition in David Cox. This gives Rutgers credibility all the way to the tidewater area of Virginia. Cox can concentrate on that DC/Va. corridor with Martelli concentrating on Pa. and Southern NJ, and others doing NYC and area to the north. Not bad. They seem to have it covered well. And remember Tom Young did a great job working that DC area where he got a great one in Eddie Jordan.

St. Johns getting Moe Hicks still is a steal to me. I honestly feel he could have gone directly to a smaller D1 program as Head Coach. A terrific pickup who gives St. Johns that street credibility they had many years ago. Plus again I say he can coach his butt off. However I am still a bit upset that many kids in NYC will not get to experience Mo Hicks. He was a terrific coach at Rice and a true role model.

If St. Johns works it out with Dunlap they are set, even though it is not the super star staff folks were expecting. But good enough to make things happen. Especially with Tony Chiles and Mo Hicks in the fold.

I see Iona hired its last Assistant Coach. Glad they see the importance of a diverse staff. Had me concerned for a minute. Still think there were some strong candidates they looked past in order to hire a really safe choice in their eyes.

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