Former Brooklyn Cyclone Joe Jiannetti Studying to be a Pharmacist


By Jerry Del Priore

Ex-Brooklyn Cyclone and St. Petersburg native Joe Jiannetti is in his second semester of pharmacy school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton campus, where he is currently studying for a doctorate degree.

Opting to spend a few more years in college to pursue a higher level of education, Jiannetti feels it will pay off in the long run.

“Well, to be honest, I didn’t want to get a business degree and chase the same 50-thousand-a-year job that everyone chases and nobody gets,” Jiannetti said. “If I stay in school a few years longer, and get a doctorate in Pharmacy, I have a chance to make some real money.”

Jiannetti, 34, spent four seasons and a spring with the Mets’ organization, two of which were with the Cyclones, the New York Mets’ short-season A affiliate in the NY-Penn League, before attending 2007 spring training with the Detroit Tigers.

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Joe Jiannetti during his days with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Overall, the former infielder and outfielder played 11 years of professional ball, slugging 102 long balls for his career.

Now, Jiannetti said he spends most of time studying, and uses his downtime on Sundays to play golf, sporting a 15 handicap. He also said he had the pleasure of playing with LGPA’s Brittany Lincicome and her husband, Dewald Gouws, a South African-born long-driver.

A Type I diabetic since the age of 15 and one of the athletes in my book, Running Through Roadblocks: Inspirational Stories of Twenty Courageous Athletic Warriors, Jiannetti, a Cyclone on the inaugural team, hopes to work with diabetics somewhere down the line.

“That is something that interest me and affects me personally day to day,” he said. But I am “keeping all of my options open.”

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Lady Vikings’ Dominant Performance At Rose Classic Helping To Build Championship Momentum


By Jerry Del Priore

After winning the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) girls’ basketball championship last season, and losing six seniors to graduation, including McDonald’s All-American Brianna Fraser (University of Maryland), not many New York City high school hoops insiders believed South Shore had enough to repeat.

But the Lady Vikings’ lopsided 65-33 win over St. Maria Goretti (MD) at the 2016 Rose Classic Super Jam at Nazareth High School Sunday, along with their 11-0 league record, are proving they’re just as good as any other team in the PSAL, despite only two seniors on the squad.

South Shore’s performance thus far could be setting the stage for another title run.

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South Shore senior forward Jordan Washington, who drained a game-high 12 points, gets ready to shoot free throw.

But, if you ask head coach Anwar Gladden, he’s not overly concerned with winning another championship right now. He said South Shore will play one game at a time while improving, and take it from there. It’s a mindset that he’s instilled in his squad as well.

“We just got to keep working, and get better every day,” Gladden said after the game. “Yeah, I mean, it’s always hard to repeat. So that’s why I just tell the girls don’t think that far ahead. Just keep working to get better every day, and everything will take care of itself.”

The Lady Vikings (11-0, 15-1) came out of the gates fast and determined, building a 9-0 lead before the Gales got on the scoreboard at 9-3 with 4:23 left in the first quarter.

From there, South Shore took a commanding 23-6 first period advantage. The Lady Vikings pressed defensively, and outdueled St. Maria on the boards in the second quarter to help swell their lead to 38-14 at halftime.

Though South Shore had letup somewhat in the second half, with backups inserted at various points, it had done enough offensive damage throughout the game, and played well defensively to win going away.

Senior forward Jordan Washington, who was named the Lady Vikings’ Most Valuable Player for the game, drained a contest-high 12 points while junior forward Selena Philoxy chipped in with 11.

South Shore travels to Maryland tomorrow at 4 p.m. to face Riverdale Baptist, ranked No. 3 in the nation, at the MLK Hoop Classic.

NYC High School Basketball Games to Watch Over the MLK Weekend


Rose%20ClassicIf you’re a fan of high school basketball, then you’re in luck, as various hoops action takes places over the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in New York City, featuring top teams and top players from all over the country.

First, the Public School League ‘A’ Conference Canarsie Lady Chiefs (11-2, 12-4) take on Seward Park Friday at 6:30 at the 2016 Rose Classic Super Jam at Nazareth High School, located at 475 East 57th Street, Brooklyn, New York.

Next, Word of God (NC), featuring senior star and Canarsie native Rawle Alkins, will play Genesis (VA) at the 13th annual Big Apple Basketball Invitational at Baruch College Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

Alkins played his previous three seasons of hoops at Christ The King High School in Queens. He helped lead the team to three consecutive city championships, including a MVP honor in 2015.

Finally, the South Shore Lady Vikings (10-0, 13-1), last season’s PSAL AA Champions, will host St. Maria Goretti (MD) Sunday at noon at the Rose Classic Super Jam, which will take place from Friday the 16th to Sunday the 18th.

Other New York area squads at the BAB, which runs from the 16th-18th, include Benjamin Cardozo (Queens), Queens HS of Teaching (Queens)  and Long Island Lutheran (NY).

For more information on the BAB Invitational, please view www.bigapplebasketball.com.

Other Rose Classic teams are Paul Robeson (Brooklyn), Staten Island Academy (SI), Archbishop Molloy (CHSAA-Queens), Murry Bergtraum (Manhattan), Bishop Loughlin (CHSAA-Brooklyn), Francis Lewis (Queens),  Nazareth (CHSAA-Brooklyn),  Lab Museum (Manhattan), Manhattan Center (Manhattan), Baldwin (Long Island), Midwood (Brooklyn), Mary Louis (CHSAA-Queens), Curtis (Staten Island), Grans Street Campus (Brooklyn), Mott Haven (Bronx) and St. Mary’s (Long Island).

 

CHS Alumnus Lands College Hoops Coaching Position


Daryl “Dee” Frazier has always been involved in basketball in some form or another since his high school days at Urban Action Academy at Canarsie Educational Campus. So, when the coaching staff at Valdosta State University (VSU), a four-year college in Valdosta, Georgia, offered him a student-assistant basketball coaching position last month, the soon-to-be 22-year-old jumped all over it.

“I’m very excited and happy,” Frazier said of landing the gig at VSU, a NCAA Division II program in the Gulf South Conference, currently ranked No. 2. “Head Coach (Mike) Helfer and Assistant Coach (Jason) Mays gave me a great opportunity to get my foot into the college coaching door and I feel honored.”

Frazier said his responsibilities include helping out during practices, recording the shot chart during games and loading buses on road trips with the graduate assistant, among other important duties.

Though NCAA rules prohibit Frazier from recruiting because he’s still a student at the college, the Physical Education / Kinesiology major said, “I’ll point coach (Helfer) in the right direction if I feel that he needs to jump on a player.”

Frazier’s love of sports had him gracing the court for Canarsie’s junior varsity basketball team for a year and playing two years of football—a season each for JV and varsity.

A year after he graduated, in 2013, the Bedford- Stuyvesant resident took his love for basketball and started the Frazier Sports Academy (FSA) in Rock Hill, South Carolina. FSA was a post-graduate basketball program that provided athletes with a year of hoops training and competition, along with academic support, with hopes of securing a hoops scholarship.

During the summers, Frazier coached a Pro/Am summer league team, Team Dream, a squad comprised of talented local players who traveled all over the East Coast to compete in high-profile basketball tournaments.

Recently, Frazier served as Director of Basketball Operations for Evelyn Mack Academy Basketball Program, a No. 4 ranked private high school in North Carolina, from August to December.

Since accepting the position at VCU, he no longer runs FSA, choosing to focus on his studies and new job.

While coaching closer to home in the future would be nice, Frazier is relishing in the opportunity to learn and grow in the warm surroundings of the VSU community. However, he’s not ruling out anything at the moment.

“A little closer to home would be fine but I’m happy where I’m at,” he said. “Valdosta is a very beautiful and intriguing college town—a Florida feel in South Georgia. But wherever a good opportunity lands, I’m there.”

Week 6 PSAL Canarsie Boys, Lady Vikings Basketball Round-Up


By Jerry Del Priore

Area hoop teams began to kick it into high gear, as one overtook first place in its conference, while the other is starting to separate themselves from the pack.

Canarsie – Brooklyn A South East Conference

Canarsie Boys’ basketball team enjoyed a stellar week, picking up four wins to help them move into first place in its conference.

Junior forward Tyres Desinor continued to be a force on the hardwood as he led the Chiefs (9-3) with 21 points and 17 rebounds in their 51-48 win over Grady (8-4, 8-5) at home.

Junior guard James Stevens and junior guard/forward Zaire Ballentine contributed 12 points and eight points and 11 boards, respectively.

Canarsie traveled to Staten Island to face Port Richmond (1-8) over the weekend, and left with a 50-43 triumph.

Canarsie had four players in double digits in its 78-71 victory over host John Dewey (5-6) last week.

Desinor (25), Nathaniel McPherson (18), Stevens (13) and junior guard Mark Perry (11) accounted for the majority of the scoring for the Chiefs.

Canarsie demolished New Utrecht, 63-36, (1-10) last week at home.

Desinor paced the Chiefs with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Marcus Louis chipped in with 12 points and 14 boards while Stevens added eight points and eight dishes.

South Shore – Girls Brooklyn AA Group 1

The PSAL-leading Lady Vikings (9-0, 12-1) continued to cruise along with two league wins,sandwiched in-between a non-league victory in New Jersey. Vikings

Visiting South Shore handed Truman (9-2) a 56-41 thrashing Monday night.

Sophomore point guard Destiny Philoxy scored a game-high 22 points and had six assists while forward/guard Earlette Scott added 10 in the victory.

The Lady Vikings shipwrecked Neptune (NJ), 44-39, at the New Jersey New Year’s Resolution Basketball Tournament over the weekend.

Last week, South Shore dismantled Queens’ Francis Lewis (9-1, 10-1), 64-44, on the road.

Junior Selena Philoxy led the charge with 21 points and 17 rebounds while the younger Philoxy chipped in with 15 and five assists. Sophomore guard/forward Diamond Shavis added 11.

 

Former Brooklyn High School Basketball Players Making Progress at College


By Jerry Del Priore

Here a list of former Brooklyn players from Team Dream, a summer league basketball team coached by Canarsie Educational Campus High School alum Daryl “Dee” Frazier (pictured above), who’s now a student assistant coach at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia.

Forward Clyde Saintamand, a former Canarsie High School basketball player who graduated in 2011, is averaging slightly under 15 points per game at Dyersburg State Community College, a two-year institution in Dyersburg, TN.

Former George Westinghouse High School combo guard Jamal Pollydore is at Niagara County Community College in Upstate, NY, where he is averaging 12 points per tilt.

Guard Nick Colon, a Brownsville native, is averaging 12 points and seven assists per contest at Clinton Community College in Plattsburg, NY.

Forward Tarik Allicock, a Canarsie native and former Grand Street Campus player, is averaging eight points and seven rebounds per game at No. 14 ranked Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY.

 

 

Canarsie, South Shore Basketball Teams Pickup Big Wins


By Jerry Del Priore

With last night’s 63-36 win over New Utrecht (1-9) at home, the Canarsie (7-3) basketball team moved into a three-way tie for first place in the PSAL’s Brooklyn A Southeast Conference with Erasmus and Grady.

Junior forward Tyres Desinor paced the Chiefs with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Marcus Louis chipped in with 12 points and 14 boards while junior guard James Stevens added eight points and eight dishes.

Canarsie travels to John Dewey (5-5) tonight for a 4:30 p.m. tip off before crossing the Verrazano bridge on Saturday to play Port Richmond at noon in non-conference action.

As for the South Shore Vikings (4,4, 5-5), they picked a big 77-74 victory against AA conference opponent Thomas Jefferson (6-1, 8-4) on Thursday night in front of a raucous home crowd.

SSHS Ricks

Senior guard Shaquille Ricks dribbles ball versus Thomas Jefferson on Thursday night at home, a game in which they won, 77-74. Photo by Pat Trani

While the Vikings’ record might seem modest to most basketball fans, keep in mind that they do play in arguably the toughest division in New York, if not the country.

South Shore takes on Lincoln on the road on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.

2015 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.