Carmelo Anthony Goes Nuts for Syracuse on Snap Chat


By Jerry Del Priore 

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Carmelo Anthony holds up headline after Syracuse wins NCAA Title back in 2003. 

So, Carmelo Anthony took to snap chat to celebrate his Alma Mater’s monumental comeback 68-62 victory over Virginia on Sunday to reach the Final Four, citing Syracuse’s “perseverance.”

Sounding like a giddy school girl, he started out by claiming that “they (whoever they are—possibly the same people who didn’t believe they should be in the tournament in the first place?) don’t want us to win.”

Listen, it’s nice that he was excited for the tenth-seeded Orange, who he hasn’t played for since the 2002-03 season, when he led the team to a NCAA Championship. But, as a Knicks fan, I’m annoyed that Anthony hasn’t always displayed the same passion and pride for his present team, the New York Knicks, who are presently tanking their second straight season.

If the Brooklyn native did, maybe they wouldn’t be polluting the world’s most famous arena on a nightly basis with their lackluster play? Maybe.

I mean, Antony is just making 24.56 million this season, so why was he so over-the-top beaming with joy that his former college team, who he played for free (umm), had advanced to the semis?

Beats me. I guess basketball players will always retreat to their old college days of glory, no matter what they’re doing, or done, in the NBA.

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Christian Faith Drives Jason Romero to Become Country’s First Blind Runner to Trek Across U.S.


By Jerry Del Priore

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Vision impaired ultra marathoner Jason Romero chugs along on a dirt trail during one of his jaunts.

Ultra-marathoner Jason “Relentless” Romero has run distances that would make even the most accomplished runners’ jaws drop in awe. From a 100-mile race in the Florida Keys’ sweltering heat to a 205-mile event, and everything in between, Romero hasn’t shied away from any daunting distances in recent years.

Proving the point unequivocally, on Thursday, March 24, Romero will start his running quest, called VisionRunUSA, to become the first blind person to cross the U.S. on foot, a total of 3,246 miles, according to the Vision Run USA’s website. That’s approximately 50 miles a day for 66 days. If the 46-year-old single father of three completes the challenge in that time period, he said he’ll be the seventh fastest person to do so.

After performing volunteer work at a homeless shelter in Denver, Colorado, the idea of undertaken a such a huge feat suddenly fall upon Romero.

But the question remains: why?

“It’s a faith thing,” said Romero, who was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa—a degenerative eye condition that gradually decreases peripheral and central sight, visual acuity, and the ability to perceive light.

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Vision impaired runner Jason Romero runs with guide during a race.

“Once I found Jesus, I wanted to dedicate my life to him. Not making any money, I have never been so sure that I have to do this,” he added. “I know I am going to get hurt, going to miss my kids, but I’m meant to do this.”

That’s not the only reason why he’s running across the country, though.

“I am doing this as a blind person,” explained Romero, who has currently lost 85 percent of his vision, making him legally blind. “I am going to show the world that blind people can do anything. If I can inspire the masses at large, then my job is done.”

It hasn’t always been easy for Romero, however. Sure, at 14 years old, he did deify a retinal specialist’s grim diagnosis of losing his sight within 15-20 years, to become an honor student, attorney, business executive at GE and Western Union and CEO of a non-profit school for children with Autism (he has a 15-year-old boy with the condition).

Furthermore, Romero has learned to adapt to most situations, compensating for diminishing sight by controlling conversations with people so they had to look at him when speaking, not vice versa. He said that most people didn’t even realize he was blind. But things really changed for him two years ago when he stopped driving.

“It really came crashing down after I stopped driving,” he recalled. “It was a huge transformation process. I was in my bed for three weeks.”

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Vision impaired ultra marathoner Jason Romero  endues the dessert’s challenging weather conditions.

Romero saw a psychologist for a year and half to help him deal with depression issues. He recommended  that Romero take medication. He refused, so the therapist suggested he start running for better physical and mental health.

That’s when Romero reached out to the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), which he is fundraising for, and started running again.

“It helped get me out of depression,” the Denver native said of running and seeing a counselor. “It spurred me on to more running.”

Running and connecting with blind athletes across the U.S. helped Romero in ways he never envisioned before and renewed his zest for life in the process.

In 2014, Romero was the National Marathon Champion, finishing the California International Marathon in two hours and 51 minutes. He currently holds world running records in the 50k, 50-mile, 100-mile, 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour race distances and times. Plus, he’s a three-time IRONMAN triathlete and represented Team USA with a fourth place finish at the International Paralympic Committee’s World Marathon Championships in 2015.

Romero’s mother will accompany him by car on his momentous trek across the nation, which starts at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California and ends in Boston, Massachusetts, at Faneuil Hall, with a break at the 25-mile point each day for various first aide checks and refueling efforts, he noted.

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Vision impaired ultra marathoner Jason Romero takes time out for photo.

Asked if people think he’s crazy for embarking on such an arduous journey, Romero said, “Not too many people say I’m crazy because I’ve done all these other races before.”

No, just crazy in love with his Christian faith and blind people worldwide.

To check out Romero’s sponsors – Hoka One One, Running Denver, Princeton Tech, Digital Apparel Printing, We Fit Wellness, Zensha, Delta Gamma Fraternity, National Sports Center for the Disabled, Blind Children’s Center, Perkins School for the Blind, Thule, Kind, Pearl iZumi, Chiropractic Solutions of Denver, Foster Graham Milstein Calisher, Rocktape, Zamst, Hammer Nutrition, Normatec, Smartwool, Denver Sports Recovery, DJO Global, and Oberto,  make a donation to his cause, and/or follow his progress, please visit www.VisionRunUSA.com, VisionRunUSA FacebookJason Romero on TwitterUnited States Association of Blind Athletes Facebook, and USABA Twitter.

Orange Wave Topples Lincoln To Claim First PSAL Hoops Title In 62 Years


By Jerry Del Priore 

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Seniors Rasheem Dunn and Shamorie Ponds, pictured with PSAL Executives, accepting their Co-MVP awards.

Thomas Jefferson boys’ head basketball coach Lawrence “Bud” Pollard was growing tired of fielding championship questions from people in the school’s surrounding areas.

You see, the last time the Orange Wave captured a PSAL varsity basketball title was way back in 1954, but on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, that drought finally came to an end as Thomas Jefferson crushed Abraham Lincoln, 90-61, in the finals.

“All of the fans, people in Brownsville and East New York, they are on my back every day about this championship,” Pollard said. “I said, ‘Guys, when I first came to Jeff, we didn’t even have a basketball. Now, these guys are going to school for free using basketball, I’m winning 25 games a year, and we’re traveling around the country. Don’t let a championship determine how successful our program is and I am as a coach.’ But, of course, if you don’t have this thing here (trophy), you stink.”

Much to his delight, Pollard silenced his detractors after Saturday’s championship performance.

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Seniors Rasheem Dunn and Shamorie Ponds, pictured with PSAL Executives, accepting their Co-MVP awards.

“Nobody wanted this job 12 years ago; you couldn’t give this job away,” he said. “Now, everybody’s telling me how to coach – what to do, what I’m not doing, but I guess that goes with the territory. And we’ve done a lot of winning, that we set the standard so high that it was the only thing people could say about the program.”

Not anymore, though.

Seniors Shamorie Ponds and Rasheem Dunn earned co-MVP honors with 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and 23 points and five boards, respectively.

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Seniors Rasheem Dunn and Shamorie Ponds, pictured with PSAL Executives, accepting their Co-MVP awards.

“It feels very great. I worked all year for this, me and my team,” said Dunn, who will be attending St. Francis College Brooklyn in the fall on a full basketball scholarship. “We put time, effort and dedication in, and we just wanted to get the win, get our coach his first ring and make history.”

Ponds concurred with Dunn’s sentiment, a player with whom he’s been friends since the first grade, according to Pollard. The two players won a JV title together and now get to leave the program on top.

“I’m excited to get this ring,” exclaimed Ponds, who’s heading to St. John’s in the fall on a full hoops scholarship as well. “We finally got one for coach. We came in as one, and we’re leaving as one,” referring to himself and Dunn entering and leaving Thomas Jefferson together.”

The Orange Wave will travel to Albany for the New York State Federation tournament this weekend. Pollard, though happy with the city crown, said he’s determined to come home with the state’s top high school hoops prize.

“So I told the guys, ‘This is a great win today, but I’m greedy. I want to win it all. I want to win the states,”’ Pollard said.

Lady Vikings G0 Back-to-Back As Girls PSAL Basketball Champs


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The South Shore Lady Vikings celebrate their Championship victory over Francis Lewis last Saturday at MSG.

By Jerry Del Priore

It was once thought by many NYC high school basketball insiders that the South Shore girls’ basketball team couldn’t win the big game after losing four previous times in the finals.

The notion was dismissed last year when the Lady Vikings captured the Class “AA” PSAL Championship and further put to bed recently as top-seeded South Shore routed No. 2 Francis Lewis, 55-39, Saturday atMadison Square Garden to claim back-to-back titles.

Known for his diligent, tireless work ethic, coaching philosophy and insisting his players work even harder in the classroom and on the hardwood as ways to help prepare for life, head coach Anwar Gladden wasn’t shocked South Shore repeated.

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South Shore Lady Vikings Head Coach Anwar Gladden (pictured with trophy) recieves handshakes all around from PSAL officals.

“I put in the work. I’m constantly on the kids, as far as their academics and basketball and just in their lives in making smart decisions,” the 14-year coach said at the press conference. “So, I’m not putting in that work not to win. I’m not putting in the work for these young ladies to not go off to college and not be successful. It feels good, but no, it’s not a surprise because we worked. I tell them hard work pays off.”

The Lady Vikings (13-0, 20-4) jumped out to an 11-6 first quarter lead, but it was the second period that began to spell doom for the Lady Patriots. South Shore’s stalwart defense didn’t allow a single point in the quarter, as it swelled its advantage to 21-6 at the half.

While Francis Lewis (14-1, 21-3) bested the Lady Vikings, 15-14, in the third quarter, it wasn’t nearly enough for a comeback, as South Shore was ahead by 14 points at the end of the period.

The Lady Vikings dropped 20 points to the Lady Patriots’ 18 to lock up the tilt and title going away.

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Sophomore forward/guard Earlette Scott earned the game’s MVP honor, posting 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Sophomore forward/guard Earlette Scott earned the game’s MVP honor, posting 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists while junior forward Selena Philoxy dropped 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Keyanna Glover and junior guard Tsahai Corbie scored 7 points apiece, and sophomore point guard Destiny Philoxy dished out 7 assists.

Asked if her MVP honor had sunk in yet, Scott replied, “No. It still feels like a dream.”

Additionally, Scott chalked up the victory to the Lady Vikings’ impressive defensive effort, in which they converted multiple Francis Lewis turnovers into 25 points.

“Defense is our key. If our defense isn’t on, our offense isn’t going,” Scott explained. “Once you get the defense going, then the offense will come. And that’s what happened.” In the second half, South Shore registered 34 of its 55 points.

The Lady Vikings travel to Albany for the New York State Federation tournament this weekend, and South Shore is primed and focused on redeeming itself after an early ousting last season.

“It was a bittersweet last year being that we had never been there before,” Gladden said. “But now we know what to expect, we know the competition, and we want to prove that we are the best team in New York State.”

Brooklyn Basketball Player Twanda Holder Thrives At Brooklyn College


By Jerry Del Priore

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Twanda Holder focuses on basketball as she attempts to shoot free throw.

After playing for Queens College, Canarsie, Brooklyn resident Twanda Holder decided to transfer to Brooklyn College three games into her sophomore year because she didn’t favor the coach’s teaching style, as well as not seeing much court time.

“I transferred from Queens College because I felt like me and the coach weren’t on the same page,” Holder explained. “A lot of times I didn’t like the way that she sort of went about things. It wasn’t the kind of coaching style I was really comfortable with. She was a very aggressive person, and I’m the type of person that needs to be talked to and needs a lot of support.

“Coach Alex (Lang) does those things, so I’m happy here.”

The 5’ 7” junior guard didn’t see much hardwood action last year as well because of the late transfer but has made most of her playing time this season, averaging 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, along with 41 steals in 29 contests, 26 of which she started.

Holder began to get serious about hoops at the age of 13, a little late for most basketball players, she said. But she tried out for James Madison High School’s basketball team and said she was a bit green at first.

However, Holder said she worked tirelessly to overcome her lack of experience and talent, with the help of current Lady Golden Knights’ coach Richard Tighe.

“I am not going to lie; I came into my high school career very scrubish,” Holder admitted. “I wasn’t the best player and didn’t get a lot of minutes initially, but as the years went on, I definitely progressed my game. And I was very serious about working to become an impact player on the court. My high school coach was also very supportive of me.”

Moreover, it was Holder’s spirited nature and intense drive to improve that helped her make up ground on the competition. In her senior season at Madison, it paid off, as she led the team in scoring, averaging 15.8 points per game, and posted a club-high 12 points in the Lady Golden Knights’ 37-36 victory over Bronx High School of Science in the first round of the Class ‘A’ 2012-13 playoffs.

On the heels of helping the Lady Bulldogs defeat CSI in the ECAC Metro/Upstate finals with a 6- point, 8 rebound performance Sunday at home, Lang believes Holder will get even better with more experience as she keeps fine-tuning her aggressive style of play into the Lady Bulldogs’ team approach.

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Twanda Holder gets ready to pass ball around defender.

“Twanda is someone who has a ton of athleticism and a drive to be great,” he wrote on Brooklyncollegeathletics.com. “With more experience and a greater understanding of how to fit her game into the team dynamic, she’ll continue to grow into a tremendous talent.”

As for her own basketball future, the early childhood special education major said, “At the end of the day, as long as my team gets the W, I feel points don’t really play a factor, because I like to help across the board,” Holder said. “I like to help on the defensive end, I like to grab rebounds and I like to get steals. I like to help my teammates score, so the points that I score aren’t important to me.”

It’s a true, selfless mark of any athlete, and person, for that matter, who’s finally coming into their own.

 

 

Fast Starts Lead Brooklyn College To Win Over College of Staten Island For Back-to-Back Women’s Hoops Titles


By Jerry Del Priore

Brooklyn College Women's Basketball Team 2015-2016 ECAC Championship Banner.

Brooklyn College Women’s Basketball Team 2015-2016 ECAC Championship Banner.

Getting ahead early, to start both halves, proved to be the difference for the top-seeded Brooklyn College Women’s Basketball team en route to a 59-55 win over No. 3 College of Staten Island (CSI) Sunday at the West Quad Center.

It was the Lady Bulldogs’ second consecutive Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Metro/Upstate Championship.

Head coach Alex Lang attributed the victory to coming out of the gates fast in both halves, as well as the Brooklyn College’s tenacious style of defense.

“Our players started the game with great intensity,” Lang explained. “We got up early, which was the key. We increased our lead in both halves, right from the beginning of the halves, and that’s really the key for our team, because we’re very tough to score against. We have size in the middle and long, athletic guards. Once we get a lead, it’s a good position for us to be in.”

Speaking of quick starts, the Lady Bulldogs took command of the tilt earlier on, jumping out to a 12-point lead in the first quarter. Though the Lady Dolphins fought back, Brooklyn College ended the first period ahead by the score of 16-9.

Displaying a measure of pluckiness, CSI sliced the Lady Bulldogs’ advantage to 2 points with 37 seconds remaining in the first half.

Brooklyn College responded with 2 layups, however, including one at the buzzer by sophomore guard Karen Mak, which increased its lead to 6 points (30- 24) going into the locker rooms.

The Lady Bulldogs opened the second half on fire, with Mak draining a bucket to give the team a 39-28 advantage with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter. Refusing to surrender again, the Lady Dolphins cut the deficit to 39-37 with less than four minutes remaining in the period.

From there, Brooklyn College closed out the quarter on a 7-1 run to take a 46-38 lead.

Karen Mak, the team’s captain, added 10 rebounds and 8 steals to help claim the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award for her overall efforts in the final and semifinal—a 65-40 rout of No. 4 Centenary College played at Brooklyn College, in which she posted 7 points, 7 boards and 6 assists.

Sophomore guard Karen Mak, shown shooting a free throw, earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award.

Staying true to form, Staten Island narrowed the gap to 6 points with 1:33 to go in the contest. However, the Bulldogs came up with a couple of key steals and converted enough free throws down the stretch to seal the deal.

Seeing its conference opponents often during the season, Lang said Brooklyn College was able to weather the Lady Dolphins’ spirited surges.

Staten Island, they’re very scrappy. They don’t stop coming at you, and they fight you on everything,” Lang said. “If you get a rebound, they smack it back and try to get the ball. On defense, they’re in your face. They’re trapping, running, coming from behind, trying to steal the ball. They’re a tough team to play, but we see Staten Island quite a bit, and we were prepared for them.”

The Bulldogs had three players who registered double-digit points, including Mak, who paced the squad with 17 points. Junior center Maya Ajee- Thomas contributed 13 and junior forward Olivia Colbert had 12 in the victory.

A prototypical team player, Twanda Holder wasn’t so concerned with her overall stats – just the fact that Brooklyn College was able to end the season on a high note with a tournament triumph.

“At the end of the day, as long as my team gets the W, I feel points don’t really play a factor, because I like to help across the board,” Holder said. “I like to help on the defensive end, I like to grab rebounds and I like to get steals. I like to help my teammates score, so the points that I score aren’t important to me.”

Mak, the team’s captain, added 10 rebounds and eight steals to help claim the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award for her overall efforts in the final and semifinal—a 65-40 rout of No. 4 Centenary College played at Brooklyn College, in which she posted seven points, seven boards and six assists.

Three Top Inspirational Brooklyn Boxers


By Jerry Del Priore

There’s no denying that, in order to compete in the bloodlust world of boxing, you need plenty of fire, guts and gumption, along with ample athletic talent.

But when you factor in out-of-the-ring adversity, that’s when you get to see what an athlete’s really made of as their real-life mettle gets tested to the max.

I have compiled a list of three inspirational Broolyn boxers who have thrived in the ring despite their out-of-ring obstacles.

Daniel Jacobs

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Daniel Jacobs poses for boxing photo.

When professional boxer Daniel “the Miracle Man” Jacobs beat Jarrod Fletcher for the vacant WBA World Middleweight Championship on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, he became the first cancer survivor to capture a world title.

Almost five years ago, in May of 2011, doctors diagnosed the then-24-year-old Brownsville, Brooklyn native with osteosarcoma-a life-threatening form of bone cancer.

The 29-year-old Jacobs’ road to the Championship was anything but easy, as he recalled bleaker times during which the feeling of helplessness and self-doubt crept in while in the hospital.

In addition, a piece of cracked spine resulted in partial lower body paralysis and a great deal of pain, not to mention an arduous rehab process.

“There was a time when I was laying in a hospital bed, and I didn’t think I could do it,” the then-27-year-old admitted. “I cried in the dark.”

In 2012, Jacobs (30-1-27KOs) used his life experiences and growing celebrity status to help form the Get in the Ring Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to help families who are struggling financially with medical expenses for their cancer stricken children, and to combat childhood obesity and bullying in schools.

Heather Hardy

There’s no denying that Heather “the Heat” Hardy is one tough pugilist and overall woman. She used to jump in the middle of her ex-husband’s bar brawls. Hardy’s competitive attitude guided her to kickboxing, which eventually led her to a regular boxing ring.

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Heather Hardy after a bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

She juggled multiple jobs and the duties of being a single mother while pursuing a shot of becoming a pro boxer. It wasn’t trouble-free, though.

Just a month before she turned pro in August of 2012, a fire destroyed her apartment and all of her worldly possessions.

The fire forced Hardy to move back to her childhood home. But devastation would strike again. On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy paid an unwelcomed visit to her family’s home in Gerristen Beach, leaving destruction in its wake.

Hardy lacked a permanent residence for a little under a year, but continued to train throughout all the turmoil.

The Brooklyn-born prizefighter finally found a place in September, near her training grounds, the legendary Gleason’s Gym, where she worked tirelessly in order to perfect the craft of the sweet science.

On Novemeber 9th, 2013, the time and effort paid off as Hardy (15-0, 3 KOs) won the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) female super bantamwieght title, and later captured the World Boxing Commission (WBC) international female super bantamweight strap on October 15, 2014. 

Frank Galarza 

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Pro boxer Frank Galarza training at Starret City Boxing Gym in Brooklyn.

Professional boxer Frank “Notorious” Galarza knows what it’s like to buck the odds as a youngster. Galarza’s father died when he was just seven years old after a gunshot wound to the leg caused health-related complications. Two years later, at the age of nine, his mother lost her life due to a drug overdose.

His aunt and uncle took him in prior to their deaths and managed to keep him focused enough to graduate high school, with the help of boxing, which he took up at 17, he noted.

But Galarza couldn’t escape the pitfalls of the mean streets, admittedly battling with his inner demons throughout his youth.

“It was a struggle because I was confused. I was really lost,” the junior middleweight recollected. “I found myself heavy in the streets, and being involved in drugs—selling drugs. And being involved in crimes and violence.”

Though Galarza realized the street life wasn’t for him, getting arrested at 15 and 17 for robbery, he didn’t have a clear plan mapped out for himself at the time, causing him to fall back into his old ways.

Unfortunately, Galarza’s watershed moment came at the expense of a near-tragic incident while engaging in an illegal, precarious activity.

“I was trying to make a sale, and I got robbed,” he candidly said of a drug deal gone wrong. “Right there, I knew I needed to change my life.”

After giving up boxing at 18, the Brooklyn native returned to the sport at 24. His trainer didn’t take him seriously at first, but he won the 2010 Golden Gloves tournament in the 165-pound novice division. It helped cement his decisions to live clean and turn pro.

The 30-year-old highly-touted prospect sports an impressive record of 17-1-2 (9 KOs).

Wanting to give back, Galarza has developed the Youth Fighting Forward program, a fledgling non-profit that combines boxing, education and youth services for at-risk Brooklyn children.

 

Die-Hard NY Met’s Fan, Amputee Helps Give Children with Loss of Limbs a Leg Up


By Jerry Del Priore

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Patrick Filosa inside the Mets’ dugout at Citi Field.

Patrick Filosa knows what it’s like to battle through arduous times. Two and half years ago, the doctors amputated his left leg below the knee after several years of pain and struggle. Now, the die-hard New York Mets fan is giving back to young amputees by participating in fundraising walks and other special events.

Filosa’s last walk on Sunday, August 23 on the boardwalk at Grand Boulevard in Long Beach, New York for Camp No Limits, the only camp for young people with limb loss and their families, raised $2,561 through his efforts alone, 73 percent of his team’s $3,500 goal. In total, his team raised $3,901, exceeding the amount by $401.

Filosa was born with Neurofibromatosis, a genetically inherited disorder of the nervous system which mainly affects the development of nerve cell tissues, causing tumors (neurofibromas) to develop on nerves, and may lead to other abnormalities.

According to rightdiagnosis.com, only one in 3,000 develop the malady, which caused benign tumors on his spine, and the doctors removed most of them at the age of six.

The 27-year-old Brooklyn native was also born with Pseudarthrosis, a condition characterized by deossification of a weight-bearing long bone, followed by bending and pathologic fractures, with inability to form normal callus.

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NY Mets Fan Patrick Filosa.

It caused Filosa’s left tibia to break twice, and refused to mend, becoming significantly shorter than his right leg as he grew.

“I had about five surgeries to have it fixed,” Filosa said. “The bone was so weak that I would do something, and it would break.”

Filosa had leg operations up until 17, but the doctors said they couldn’t do much else for him.

“I had a bone graft; they removed part of my hip to put in my leg. They did a couple of other things to try fix it, but nothing worked,” he explained. “At 17, they pretty much said ‘stay the way you are, or have it amputated.’ At that point, I said ‘no. I went through all that, I’m not going to have my leg amputated now.”’

So, he wore a brace, and walked with a pronounced limp, leading to severe hip and back problems over time. That didn’t stop Filosa from partaking in sports throughout his childhood, though, playing for fun, despite his disability.

But it came to the point in which Filosa felt he needed to make a decision.

“I had a bad limp. My hip and my back started to hurt. That’s when I decided that it would be best to have it amputated,” he recollected. “I just had enough walking with the limp. It was tiring. I felt a little unconfident about it, walking like that. I felt I would have a better life.

“I had no motion in the ankle, so it was pretty much just there,” Filosa added. “It took a lot of decision to actually make the choice, and it was the right choice.”

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Patrick Filosa’s Met-themed leg.

 

Since learning how to walk again with his state-of-the-art new Mets-themed leg, Filosa searched for a way to make a positive impact on the lives of others going through similar circumstances, who may not have had the same choice he did.

“It’s just one of those things that I felt like since I got my leg amputated, I always wanted to give back to the community of amputees, to help them,” Filosa said. “With me, it was my choice to have it done. I was at a positive mind about it. And there are people with diabetes, cancer, or got in some type of accident, and they have no choice about losing a limb. They’re down about it, sad about it, and I try to lift them up.”

Filosa even garnered a measure of media attention for his Mets-themed prosthetic leg and fundraising walking efforts, which is implemented and instituted by his prosthetist, Robert Schulman, who selects the organization for which to fundraise.

In 2014, they, along with other walkers, helped raise $10,000 for the Living Water Children’s Foundation, whose mission is to ensure quality of life for orphans and other children in need. Filosa said he raised over $2,200 by himself.

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Patrick and Met Great Keith Hernandez

Filosa’s love of sports and philanthropic efforts, though selfless in nature, has reaped some benefits.

After a story about him appeared in ESPN the Magazine, the Chicago White Sox reached out to him to express gratitude for mentioning current manager and former Mets’ third baseman Robin Ventura’s memorable 1999 postseason moment against the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium (former home of the Mets) in the article.

“A week or two after the article came out, the White Sox got in contact with me because I talked about being at Ventura’s grand slam single in the rain in the playoffs,” said Filosa, who works as a customer service representative for a checking cashing facility while attending Kings Borough Community College.

“They thanked me for mentioning Ventura, and wanted to send me something. And they sent me an autographed picture of Ventura.”

While it’s nice to be recognized for performing good deeds for the less fortunate, Filosa, who hopes to be a prosthesis in the future, said his ultimate goal is to raise as much money as possible for the cause.

Filosa’s next physical fundraising exertion, an obstacle course race on Long Island, will take place sometime in October (no set date has been established at the moment), with the pre-fundraising event on Saturday, April 2nd at Three Jolly Pigeons, located at 6802 Third Ave., in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Check out https://www.crowdrise.com/team-legacy/fundraiser/patrickfilosa for updated details.

New Sports Trading App, ASM Free, Hopes to Provide Fans with Money Making Opportunity


AsmFree, a new sports trading app

AsmFree, a new sports trading app

Jerry Del Priore

Sports fans are passionate about their teams, even though they don’t receive monetary compensation for their efforts.

But what if there was a legal way to add to the excitement, and own a portion of your teams in the process?

That’s what AllSportsMarket (ASM), operated by The New Sports Economy Institute, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization established to teach finance through sports, is in the process of doing through its sports trading app, ASMFree.

As the name states, the app is free, and starts you out with $2,500 fun money. But the company wants to change that into a profit producing venture for sports fans in the near future.

“Right now, it’s all fake money,” said Bernie Nicholls, NHL legend and ASM’s spokesman and sports industry liaison. “But we want to change it into a real money market app where you can invest real money into your favorite teams.”

NHL legend Bernie Nicholls.

NHL legend Bernie Nicholls.

The concept is simple: “Anytime your team wins, you get dividends,” Nicholls said. “But if they lose, you don’t lose your investment. This isn’t gambling. It’s just like any other investment. It’s no different than any other stock on the New York Stock Exchange; it’s run the same way.”

In fact, the app’s buy-low-and-sell-high model mirrors the way you would ideally trade stock.

“You can buy shares in a team that’s not doing well right now,” the former Los Angeles Kings standout explained. “But down the line, they could be good,” increasing the return on of your investment when you decide to sell.

So, the prices of the shares are based on the performance, the dividend reserves and the publics’ perception of the team, Nicholls noted.

Presently, the NHL is on board, and ASM hopes to have all the four major team sports brought into the fold. Nicholls sees as a win-win situation, without any risk for the leagues.

“The NHL loves the idea,” he said. “Fifty percent will go to each league. It’s free money for them.”

For more information on ASM and to download the app, visit http://www.ASMFree.com and click the orange Web App icon beneath the Apple download button.

Brooklyn College Men’s Hoops Set to Take on Local NYU in NCAA D-III Basketball Tournament


 

Brooklyn College Men's Basketbal team

Brooklyn College Men’s Basketball team celebrates championship after beating Baruch College, 76-67, in the 2015-16 CUNYAC Championship at CCNY Friday night.

By Jerry Del Priore  

It’s official: The Bulldogs are set to dance against opponents from Manhattan.

On Monday, Division III NCAA Tournament officials announced that the Brooklyn College (22-6) Men’s Basketball Team will take on New York University (20-5) in the first round at host Christopher Newport University, on Friday, March 4th.  Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM in Newport News, Virginia.

The Bulldogs earned the automatic bid by capturing the CUNYAC Championship on Friday, besting Baruch College, 76-67, in the championship final. 

In the other first round action, host Christopher Newport will play Lycoming in the night cap. 

The winners of both games will face off in the second round on Saturday, March 5th, at Christopher Newport.