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Foot Locker provides the best selection of premium products for a wide variety of activities, including basketball, running, and training. One night in October, Lamar Odom stands up, straightens his 6-foot-10 frame and strides to a podium inside Bryant Park Grill on W. Odom says before turning his attention to Charles. You can ask him questions about that. He no longer works in systems programming for Bank of New York, but still wields influence as a power broker on the grassroots basketball scene. He guffaws at the finger pointing. On the dais, Odom outlines his path: a father addicted to heroin, a mother lost to colon cancer when he was 12 and his attendance at three schools in two states as a high school senior in search of academic eligibility.
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It is not lost on Odom that he is being enshrined at a time of reckoning for college basketball. He knows 10 men are under arrest in a corruption sweep that included predawn roundups one week ago. Four assistant coaches, two Adidas executives, an AAU coach, a middleman, a financier and a runner for an agent face federal charges. Attorney for the Southern District of New York examines the unregulated commerce long conducted to secure top players.
Odom says after receiving a standing ovation that lasted 30 seconds. The coaches all know what they do. It seems a little weird with all the FBI and s–t involved, but it is what it is. New York is at the nexus of the probe into bribery and fraud regarding recruiting arrangements. Several of the accused parties trace their roots to city bandboxes. 150,000 from Adidas to a recruit, yet still is employed at the University of Miami.
It is so funny because I don’t know why they feel they shouldn’t. F–k it,’ then it is the same, but yeah, you should pay them. The school makes money off them. Looking at the market of finders’ fees, extra benefits and corporate enticements, Odom weighs his worth. Greg Vetrone, another old friend, sits stage left.
Rutgers, but is best remembered for his role in the Odom sweepstakes. When faced with a UNLV probe, Odom refused to cooperate and left the school. What you do in the dark comes out in the light. Those words hold true to me because everything I’ve done in darkness came out in light. Christ the King playing playing Bishop Louchlin at Christ the King.
He sat out a year, took Rhode Island to the NCAA tournament and went on to the NBA as the No. Vetrone was effectively banned from Division I for a decade, and regenerated on the sneaker-camp circuit. Odom and Vetrone pose for photos. He readies to depart, and plans to return to Christ the King the next day. Charles tips his hat, and goes off to catch his LIRR train home to Baldwin.
He notes that he no longer coaches. He holds more of a management role now. That’s life, and that’s a bond. Gauchos Gym, a renovated warehouse on Gerard Ave.
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Bronx, remains a basketball proving ground as zoning law changes bring new construction to the block. The floorboards inside are from the Garden, hand-me-down hardwood donated by the Knicks. Elders keep an eye out for new blood. There is a house rule: Winners stay on. The latest, greatest attraction to pin an opponent’s shot to the backboard on site is Moussa Cisse.
He stands 6-foot-10, wears size-15 sneakers and tips the scales at 200 pounds. Guinea is home, but he has been stateside almost a year. He arrived from West Africa last December, and enrolled at Christ the King. He lives in Jersey City with B.
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Garnett, a future NBA Hall of Famer who leapt from high school to the NBA in 1995. Garnett made millions with Andy Miller as his agent and Adidas as his lifetime sponsor. On a Sunday in October, Cisse is two months away from suiting up for his first varsity high school game. He chides Wiggins for comparing a tenderfoot to an all-time talent.
At Gauchos Gym, hype springs eternal. By 5 years old, aspiring Gauchos pump fake, stutter step and crossover. They grow hip to an insolent body language on court, and gauge how much they can get away with, honing Euro steps and reaching for rim. The process is tried and true, from biddies to NBA All-Stars. He came up battling Gauchos as a point guard with the rival Riverside Church. Raymond’s High win a city title. 8-month-old when he rummaged through his grandmother’s possessions.
At the time, four guards — Kemba Walker, Chris Fouch, Jordan Theodore and Darryl Bryant — ran the floor. They were outfitted in Nike swooshes and swarmed all ball handlers. They pushed the pace on offense to win tournaments in South Carolina, Arizona and Las Vegas. Richardson cautioned his star prospect about going too fast. While Walker went on to UConn, where he won the NCAA national title in 2011, and his teammates spread out to Drexel, Seton Hall and West Virginia, Richardson parlayed his charges’ success into an assistant coaching job at Xavier University. When his boss, Sean Miller, left for Arizona, Richardson followed with his Rolodex. Jones, Kevin Parrom and Rawle Alkins — to be Wildcats.
Richardson, 44, eventually swam into a net cast by the FBI. 250,000 per year, was roused from his sleep in Arizona and arrested on charges of bribery conspiracy, honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and travel act conspiracy. 20,000 in bribes that were paid by undercover agents over a seven-month span in 2017. I don’t think any different of him. I’d let him babysit my kids. Unfortunately all these guys’ reputations are ruined. At halftime of the upperclassman game at the Dixon Classic, Jahvon Quinerly, a guard from Hackensack who plays for Hudson Catholic and committed to Arizona in August, walks in late due to traffic on the George Washington Bridge.
The indictment says Richardson intended to lure Quinerly west with money. In July, Richardson met with Sood in his New Jersey office. Following the indictment, Quinerly’s family retained legal counsel, and a day before the Dixon Classic, he de-committed from Arizona. Tom Gustus, a spectator from Staten Island, complains about the on-court product.
Visitors to Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse on Pearl St. James Gatto comes sans cell phone. Phones are fraught with peril in the NCAA case. Wiretaps intercepted 4,000 calls during over 330 days of FBI monitoring.
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100,000 to the father of Brian Bowen, a recruit from Saginaw, Mich. Code and Gatto also talked about timing installments in September. Let’s just get that out of the way now. Gatto never figured his 2018 would be dotted with court dates. He stands accused of wire fraud conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. His bond hearing doubles as a homecoming.
His father, also Jim, coached at Mater Christi, which later became St. Konchalski, the scout, is with the family. He goes back with the father, and offers support. The rest of his day involves attending Mass and visiting a friend in a city hospital. Pitino, who is not in court and has not been charged with a criminal act in the case, used to joke about Konchalski’s penchant to run in the same circles as the city’s Runyon-esque figures while keeping rosary beads in his pants pocket. Konchalski knows this is simply the newest chapter in the city’s affiliation with basketball’s underbelly.
The book tells the story of the late Connie Hawkins, the Bed-Stuy ballplayer who was semiliterate and All City at Boys High before going to the University of Iowa in 1961. Konchalski tracked Hawkins from schoolyard to schoolyard during his rise. But I stayed out of crime because of my back. It had a yellow streak down the middle.
To exit, he walks in lockstep with his lawyer. She is bronzed, blindfolded, balancing on one foot and holding scales of justice. Most notably, regarding the case of a man being prosecuted for peddling shoes, she is barefoot. It is a gymnasium on the ground floor of what used to be Café Rouge, the main restaurant in Hotel Pennsylvania. A half block from the Garden, it is now a basketball court, renovated by Nike for the likes of Carmelo Anthony. Highlight reels of Michael Jordan dunking, hitting game winners and admiring sneakers play on an endless loop by the front desk.
He is Mike Boynton, a former point guard at Bishop Loughlin in Fort Greene and the current coach of the Cowboys. He is a veteran of Brooklyn hoops, having kept his dribble alive from P. He went on to play at South Carolina, and made the NCAA tournament as a senior. His first coaching job came as a graduate assistant at Furman University in Greenville, S. Boynton coached at Furman, Coastal Carolina and Wofford before returning to South Carolina and then moving on to Stephen F. As an assistant for the Lumberjacks, Boynton returned to the NCAA tourney in 2016.
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When coach Brad Underwood left for Oklahoma State, Boynton interviewed for the SFA job. He did not get it for reasons he couldn’t understand, and followed Underwood. After one season, Underwood hopped to Illinois in a lateral move, and Boynton replaced him. I know how precious these opportunities are.
At 35, he became one of 351 head coaches in Division I men’s basketball. Six months later, Boynton was on an airplane when he learned his lead assistant, Lamont Evans, was arrested by FBI agents. Boynton landed in Dallas, read about the probe online and button hooked back to campus. He was not implicated in any crime. At Terminal 23, Boynton monitors back-and-forth action.
His top player, Jeffrey Carroll, the leading returning scorer in the Big 12, tested his NBA stock after last season, opted to come back, and was withheld from three games at the beginning of the season during an investigation into his amateur status. He allegedly took a meeting with Evans and a financial adviser. Now Carroll is clear to play. Boynton watches him curl around a screen.
I’m going to kind of form how these 18-22 year olds think, the way they react to things in life. His father, also Mike, idles by the bench. He was a post-trade processer on the New York Stock Exchange floor with Charles Schwab for 18-and-a-half years. He judged whether trades were done the right way. Bob Leckie, Boynton’s coach at Loughlin, walks over. Leckie commends Boynton on his crisis management. Behold Rick Pitino, a coach in exile.
It is Black Friday in November, and Pitino, wearing a scarf and overcoat, arrives just before tipoff of a game between his alma mater, UMass, and Minnesota, where his son, Richard, is the coach. The event is called the Barclays Center Classic, but the Nets are playing a day game, so L. Former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino smiles as he watches the game action during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Alabama and Minnesota. It is 700 miles northeast of Louisville, where his old Kentucky home is already up for sale and his former player, David Padgett, now coaches the Cardinals. Pitino is suing Louisville for breach of contract and Adidas for deliberately damaging his reputation, and maintains complete innocence. The Moynihan Courthouse is two miles away, across the East River, but Pitino watches his son work the officials.
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Pitino is the biggest name leveled by the investigation so far. In the documents, he is referenced as Coach-2. His demise started July 27 when one of his assistants, a cooperating witness, an undercover agent and an AAU coach walked into a Las Vegas hotel room. Federal agents placed video recorders in the room prior to the group’s arrival. The AAU coach was Jonathan Brad Augustine of Florida. Once the head coach of the Knicks, he passes his days between an apartment on Park Ave. His program was already on probation for a scandal involving hookers being brought in a side door at Billy Minardi Hall, the dormitory named for Pitino’s late brother-in-law who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald and was killed on Sept.
Prior to being fired, Pitino was suspended five ACC games for the hooker parties arranged by an assistant coach. There is one post-game request that Pitino makes to his son’s staff. The coach with 647 career wins wants to go over a point of emphasis with center Bakary Konate, who stands 6-foot-11 and hails from Mali. Minnesota assistant Kimani Young beckons Konate from the locker room.
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The old coach goes to work, harping on footwork. He reviews the finer points of defending the pick and roll as a big man. 5 in white for Hudson Catholic is Player-5 in the federal indictment. 26, and Jahvon Quinerly is back in the city for a nightcap vs.
Cardinal Hayes, the reigning Catholic league champions. He is a nifty ball handler, able to negotiate tight spaces to get to the rim or pull up for three after a power dribble. He starts his scoring with a three from the top of the key, and another triple from the left diagonal, putting up 11 points in the opening period. Quinerly sits the entire second quarter.
Hayes surges to take a halftime lead. The scandal follows Quinerly into games. Inside Nat Holman Gym at the City College of New York, in Harlem, where tonight’s contest is being played, one stairway leading to the basement gym has a black-and-white photo of CCNY’s 1949-50 team on the wall. Behind a basket, two banners celebrate that unit’s NCAA and NIT titles. Quinerly makes the heckling an interactive experience. He puts his finger to his lips after he scores one basket.
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After another, he stares into the crowd. He executes a finger roll, and hustles the Hawks back into the game. His name is Lou King, a forward headed to Oregon. Both are active on the sneaker circuit in the summer.
Knight cannot help a Hudson Catholic squad plagued by foul trouble, though. It is up to Quinerly, a thousand-point scorer, member of the National Honor Society and son of a Bergen County Sheriff’s Department officer. He boasts 275,000 followers on Instagram, and he influences the game in the second half, going right at and through the Cardinals’ defense. He knocks down six 3-pointers and finishes with 27 points. Still, his efforts come up short. That’s why sometimes you’ll catch me chanting back.
It is very hard to control. I definitely have to prepare for the next level, just keeping my mouth shut. He is bound for Villanova, having moved on from Arizona and satisfied Villanova’s compliance office questions about his amateurism. Quinerly insists his focus is trained on preparing for the next level and the level beyond that. I can’t wait to have that opportunity: work on my game, not have to worry about school. Hustle Productions has come to The Jack Curran Gymnasium at Archbishop Molloy High in Briarwood to shoot footage for a full-length feature on the Elite Youth Basketball League.