Clark “Mr. Backboard” Elie was born into the world on December 20, 1954. Growing up in Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood, he played ball with his friends and wasn’t the best at it. At Brandeis HS, he ran intramurals, not varsity. In the early ’70s, the group of cats he rolled with all got recruited to play college ball outside New York. Left behind, he decided to attend City College. And that’s when the legend started . . .
“We used to tease him,” childhood friend Greg “Elevator Man #2″ Brown reminisced with me. “But when we all went away, that’s when Clark got 20 times better!” Elie wound up taking a couple of CUNY chips at CCNY, but his legendary tear in the parks began when Greg Brown returned home. The two, along with Clark’s little brother Mario, wound up terrorizing every playground in the vicinity. Read More »
I rarely get to watch b-ball on TV, however last night I had the good fortune to have finished work early enough and not have any late night events to attend or spin at, so I peeped the U Conn-Syracuse Big East Tournament game. I thought the Nike TOC Final last summer going into OT was crazy, but when this contest went into six OTs, it was insane!
I’d never witnessed something like this, not on any level including the parks. Growing up at the Goat on 99th St., we used to play games to 40 by twos, switch at 20, and win by two (baskets). Rarely would the final score go past 48, 50 tops. At the Garden last night, the defense was a lot more intense than most asphalt runs would offer, though. I was most impressed with Kemba “EZ Pass” Walker, who affected his squad’s control of the first five OTs with pure hustle, beating his man to the spot and taking a charge, making a man down low change his shot for fear of Kemba blocking it, flying out of bounds to save a loose ball. No doubt, the EZ Pass that was on the cover of Bounce when he took over EBC two summers ago is a scorer and slasher off the dribble, Read More »