This Sunday, March 15th, at 7:30pm, the Bounce Magazine Squad attempts to keep their 4-0 record perfect at the Sunday Basketball League (SBL). We’ve had an exciting season so far, led by newcomer Brian Shahum who has been named Player of the Week once and Player of the Game twice. Come support us!
Sunday Basketball League Winter/Spring Session
Park West H.S., 50th St. bet. 10th and 11th Ave., 5th floor gym.
Nearest trains: C, E, 1, 9 train to 50th St., R, W to 49th St.
For teams and players interested in joining the SBL, contact Reggie Primus: sblcontact @yahoo.com.
The Sunday Basketball League (SBL)Buzzer Beating Game Winner Special
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Game was tied 55-55 with four seconds left on an out of bounds play. We were looking for Brian who had the hot hand, but he was being guarded tight. I jabbed towards the pick, then cut to the corner. Marc lead me with a bounce pass which I had to race to, placing me with the ball in my hand and my back to the basket in the deep corner plus a defender on top of me with three seconds left. There was no time to think to pass. I couldn’t square to the basket as there was no space. My two feet were parallel with the end line. Two seconds, time to put it up, and I launched an off balance twisting prayer of a jumper. I was behind the backboard which required I put enough arch on the shot so that it could clear the top corner and have a chance at the rim. I thought in my head, “There’s no way that’s going in!” as it was an attempt out of a H.O.R.S.E. contest, and yet . . .
Many of the greats are defined by game winning shots in the playoffs. Think of Jordan on Ehlo, Kareem Reid or Master Rob at the EBC Chip in Rucker Park, etc.
For us non-legends, the chance at glory is far and few between, and localized. Personally, I haven’t played in that many huge championships for high level tournaments or televised games. In my entire career, I’ve maybe had five games total where the ball was in my hand in a game-winning situation with no time on the swatch.
My first was at Lower Merion HS (PA) in ‘82. We were playing at Springfield HS, and with five seconds left I went behind my back going to the baja and my opponent fouled the doo doo out of me. I was about to go to the line and shoot the front end of a one and one with three clicks on the clock, down by one point, when the home coach called timeout. Walking to our bench, the player gruntled at me, “You ****ing ‘wap!’” I didn’t know what the word meant, regardless I understood it wasn’t him wishing me well. I asked Coach Manning to define it, and he revealed it was a derogatory slash against Italians. I blurted, “But I’m not Italian, Coach!” I was befuddled.
At the end of my two years at Lower Merion, I finished a career 55% shooter from the field, which to this day I’m ridiculously proud of as they were mostly jumpers (unfortunately there was no three-point line then). I’m also embarrassed to say that my career free throw shooting percentage there was a whopping 44%. Whoa.
I missed the front end of that one and one shot at Springfield. They got possession, ran out the clock, and we lost. I had such a cross of emotions afterwards between being called an incorrect ethnic slur and feeling like a sell-out that I wound up getting choked up in the locker room. I held back from crying, but the water pistols were there.
In ‘89 or ‘90, I was playing in an outdoor tournament behind the Douglass Projects Community Center on 104th St. off Columbus. It was mostly cats from the neighborhood, which was solid run, but we’re not talking Pro-Am level or anything like that. Regardless, our squad had Steve (can’t remember his last name) who had played D1 at U. of Hawaii, and he averaged 40+ for us. During a playoff game with us down by three and two seconds left on the clock, Steve obviously drew a double coming down, which left me wide open. Bong bong, I hit the dagger from 27′ to tie it, and then we won in OT.
I had arrived.
Since then, I’ve hit a flurry of backbreaking, nail in the coffin, seal the deal three-pointers to ensure Ws or cement comebacks, however simply by circumstance I’ve only had less than a handful that were actually buzzer beater opportunities. I want the ball in my hand at the end of the game, though.
In ‘93, my Ham-Fish squad was down one point with two clicks left in a semi-final game. I called time-out, drew a play to have three teammates set a picket fence for me to run around. We inbounded the ball, my map worked perfect, and there I was with the rock 17′ away on the wing. Ice Water. We eventually lost in the final, however tournament director Bill Lynch still talks about that shot 15 years later now.
Going back to Sunday’s SBL game, once the ball cleared over the backboard and started its quick descent towards the rim, I knew it was cotton. No rim, all net. Game over. My teammate Brian Shahum picked me up into the air like it was the NCAA Final Four! It was just our second regular season match! My girl was on the sideline glowing, and the 50+ players, coaches and onlookers all showed me love from afar shouting, “Good shot, Bob!” I can’t front–I felt like the man, however I quickly humbled myself and apologized to the other team. Honestly, they deserved to win. I huddled our Bounce Magazine squad and told them, “That was the will of God. There was no way that shot was meant to go in.”
Being a writer and a ballplayer at times can be a struggle. Ideally, I wouldn’t be the one writing about myself in first person. It always feels too self-aggrandizing.
That said, don’t leave me open if the game is on the line . . .
Friday, February 20th, 2009 update
This Sunday, February 22nd, at 6:30pm, the Bounce Magazine Squad plays their second Sunday Basketball League (SBL) game. We won our season debut against The 97 by the score of 63-54. Newcomer Brian Shahum was named the Player of the Game, finishing with 25 points and five rebotes.
Here’s the SBL wrap-up for the first week, direct from Reggie Primus:
Player of the Week 2/8/09
Solomon Jones – Brooklyn Huskies – 26pts, 10rebs, 2 stls
Player of the Game
Brian Shahum – Bounce Mag 25pts, 5 rebs
Earle Reper – Fear No 1 19pts, 3rebs, 3 asts
Fred Small – Harlem Allstars 24pts, 7rebs, 2 stls
Avery Jirmison – A Game 27pts, 3asts, 4 stls
John Hawthorne – Amsterdam 13pts, 11rebs, 1 blk
Johnson Walker – BX Finest 43pts, 9-3’s, 5rebs, 2 blks
SBL Weekly Newsletter – 2/8
Inspired by his daughter cheering for him on the side, Solomon Jones got off to a fast start and couldn’t be stopped, leading his team to a 14 point victory over River to River, with 26points and 10 rebounds, Tim Weeks had a double double as well with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Rhasheen Perry came one rebound shy of his own double double, he chipped in with 19 and 9 with 5 assists. Irving Moses and Kareem Liebert both poured in scoring in the high 20’s but after defeating BX Finest in game 1, they didn’t have enough. Final was 94-80.
Small Came Up Big
Fred Small (24pts, 2-3’s, 7 rebounds and 2 steals) grabbed Player of the Game in this 2009 season opener defeating BX Finest 78-73, the lead changed hands plenty with Harlem coming out on top. Irving Moses (3-3’s, 7 rebounds, and 3 asts) and Kareem Liebert (9 boards, and 2 steals) added 22 and 21 points respectively. Johnson Walker of BX Finest was brilliant in defeat, he just needed that second wind he talked about. I guess it never came considering both teams finished with 4 players. He had 43points, 9-3’s, and 2 blks.
I was wondering if they rocked them only on the court or Rocked their spirit as well. A new team to the league (Now You Know), may have felt A Game was the better team that night or they may have felt overwhelmed with doubts of being able to compete in this league. I hope it’s the aforementioned. Because quite frankly, they were late, didn’t get a chance to warm up and only had 5 players, with big men at 6′3, 6′4 and 6′5 who didn’t make the first game, I believe they can compete.
They did appear dejected. Nevertheless, A Game did what they do. NYK’s failure to back pedal perimeter players enabled A Game to score half their points on layups. Final Score was 91-45, lead by Avery Jirmison 27pts, 3asts, and 4stls. George of Now You Know had a good output in spite of this crushing defeat. He finished with 25pts, 3-3’s, 4 rebounds and 1 block.
Bounce gets off to a better start, dropping their first few last season -this time 1-0 for beginnings. Brian Shahum led all scorers with 25 and 5 rebounds. Marc Domin definitely in the top 2 from short range added 16points and 4 boards. Eric McCarty (17pts/5rebs) of The 97 closed the gap at the end connecting on 2-3’s. A questionable out-of-bounds call that went to Bounce could have given The 97 an opportunity. Craig Batchelor added in 14pts, but 97 drops this one 63-54.
Different Thing Different Day
Last seasons B Division chip match-up, were paired up again in this seasons opener. The Division Champs Marc Allstars couldn’t duplicate the result. Working Class took this one 61-56.
Captain Marc Walters had the team leave the shirts behind, pulling his team from the league after this one, feeling his team didn’t give 100%, I think he wanted me to do the laundry, because his intention is to return. We’ll have to wait and see if that form of motivation worked. Nevertheless Fish kept the offense and defense going, leading his team (Work) with 19points, 3-3’s, 5 rebounds, 3 asts and 4 stls. Kobe (7 asts) and Ty (6 boards) both had 13. Marc of MS had 20pts and 8 reeds, Charles Jackson had 18 and 9 and Terrence chipped in with 15 and 5. Sounds like a good effort to me, I guess the expectations were higher.
Top of the Bottom
Of all the new teams Playground Vets had the best showing, they took an ‘L’ but was competitive until late in the second half when Fear No 1 pulled away, led by Earle Reper with 19pts and 3 asts. Although close early on, Fear was able to finalize it 57-38. Rome had 15pts and 5 rebounds. Irin Stark of Vets carried most of the load putting up 16pts and 4rebs. Look for a better showing from this team, going forward.
A Walk Across Amsterdam Avenue
This was just a walk down the block for Amsterdam, but no walk in the park for newcomers, End Of The Weak. Clearly outmatched on this evening EOTW falls 67-16. That’s no ‘typo’! They just never got going. Balanced scoring for Amsterdam with Don Emersom, Justin LeBron, and Jaquan Spear scoring 10, 11 and 11, but it was John Hawthorne that led all scorers with 13points and 11 rebounds. Amsterdam starts off 1-0.
2/22 Schedule and Line
3:30 NOW YOU KNOW V. BX FINEST favored by 10
4:30 MARC STARS V. THE 97 underdog by 1
5:30 END OF THE WEAK V. A GAME favored by 24
6:30 BOUNCE V. HUSKIES favored by 1
7:30 PLAYGROUND VETS V. AMSTERDAM favored by 17
8:30 RIVER TO RIVER V. HARLEM ALLSTARS pick’em
9:30 FEAR NO ONE V. WORKING CLASS underdog by 4