Displaying items by tag: basketball
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Catholic’s varsity athlete Lauren Maher is a year-round athlete who reminds us that the adrenaline rush of a sport is nothing without the sense of community that athletics generate.
Connor Johnson is an 8th grader at Galway Central Jr./Sr. High School who plays basketball at the YMCA Wilton Branch, as well as for his school and the Athletic Armature Union.
“Connor enjoys helping and teaching the other kids there (at the YMCA) how to play basketball,” said Cynthia Johnson, Connor’s Mom.
Question: How old were you when you started playing basketball?
Answer: I started playing when I was 12. I started playing at the Y.
Question: What made you want to get into basketball?
Answer: It was something I always wanted to do.
Question: Who is your favorite professional athlete?
Answer: Curry, Stephen Curry. I like that he’s little and going against the pros. He was doubted when he was a kid, and now he’s proven everyone wrong.
Question: Who are you most inspired by?
Answer: The most inspiring thing to me is my family, and my grandparents. But other things that inspire me are my coaches, my friends; the YMCA is a inspiring thing for me.
Questions: Who are your biggest fans?
Answer: My papsy, my mom and my family.
Question: What is your favorite thing about basketball?
Answer: I like the competitive side of it and I like that there is a lot of action.
Question: Least favorite?
Answer: Injuries and getting hurt.
Question: Have you had many injuries?
Answer: Not a lot, but I have had rolled ankles here and there.
Question: What do you do to get hyped up for a game?
Answer: The people around me pump me up saying ‘you’re gonna do good out there!’ I warm up and stretch.
Connor is already looking at colleges in hopes of continuing to play basketball, the sport he loves, wherever he attends.
SCHUYLERVILLE — Clarkson University will be ushering local varsity basketball player Nick Budesheim into the next phase of his basketball and academic career.
Budesheim comes from a family of Celtics fans, which inspired him to pursue basketball himself when he was in the fourth grade. Though Budesheim also plays for the school’s soccer team, basketball quickly became his favorite sport.
“I just found that to be something that you can do by yourself, it motivates you constantly,” said Budesheim. “Everything about it makes me love it.”
There was not a thing that Budesheim could find that didn’t bring him joy. As he’s matured, Budesheim has learned that the less pleasurable aspects such as early and long practices, running and conditioning are not all that bad, as they only help him to improve his game.
A rigorous sports schedule incorporated into applying to colleges can become overwhelming for any scholar-athlete, but not for Budesheim.
“You just have to find a balance and always keep your head up,” said Budesheim.
Budesheim finds inspiration from his family and friends, who are also his biggest support systems. Their support has aided him through every game, alongside a small before game superstition of his.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ty Stacey is enjoying his first year as head coach for the Spa Catholic girls’ basketball teams. It’s a drastic difference from his day job as a probation officer. Stacey is taking over for Damian Fantauzzi, who coached the team last year. Stacey said Fantauzzi left to spend more time with his grandchildren and he coaches cross-country and track in the spring. Stacey’s coaching experience varies: he was head coach at SUNY Adirondack for the men’s team for years.
“I’ve been coaching my son in various AAU teams and baseball and basketball ever since. The girls that I have this year are extremely committed to learning and developing their skills as basketball players but also their athleticism. I have some girls that play five sports throughout the year. So, they aren’t only benefitting as a basketball player but they’re benefiting as a complete athlete,” Stacey explained.
Stacey played basketball as a student at Saratoga Springs High school; he also played at SUNY Adirondack and St. Joseph’s in Rutland, Vermont. Stacey is a probation officer for Saratoga County and finds a correlation between his coaching and day job.
“The way I look at it is, we’re all the same. It’s just the same lessons in a different arena. We all make mistakes, it’s our responsibility to learn from them and change our future and develop new skills and be responsible,” Stacey said.
Stacey gets help on the court from Alphonse Lambert, the schools’ athletic director and bowling and baseball coach, and Fantauzzi, who still stops by and takes notes. John Catone, the boys’ basketball coach, also stops by practice from time to time and vice versa for Stacey.
“We’ll watch each other’s practices a little bit and get different ideas, different approaches, but it’s not like we’re in direct collaboration. I will work with coach Lambert and Damian Fantauzzi, who has already come and watched one of the games. They’ll send me emails with their observations and their thoughts, which is tremendously helpful because one person can’t be everything,” Stacey explained.
The team consists of 11 players, only one of which is a senior.
“We’re very young, we are striving to get better as the season goes. We’ve already shown improvement from last year to this year. Since we’ve lost our top scorer from last year, we’re trying to figure out where our scoring is going to come from. That’s going to be the goal here, to see who’s going to provide it, and that could change each night. The future is promising. This year I think we’re going to surprise some people and I can guarantee that the girls are going to compete every night. They are a good group of kids,” he said, complimenting his team.
Before every game, Stacey likes to inspire them in a simple way: by reminding them to put in the work.
“I just remind them that they need to do their job and everybody else knows what job they’ve got to do, and it’ll all come together. The girls are pretty self-motivating, makes my job easy that way and it just reinforces the learning process every game. Learn as you go, learn as you play, and that’s how you benefit,” Stacey said.
To catch a Saratoga Central Catholic basketball game, check out the Sports at a Glance page.
SARATOGA COUNTY — At 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 20 at the Hilton Hotel in Troy, the Upstate New York Basketball Hall of Fame will be inducting 15 people into the basketball hall of fame. Four of the inductees are local to the Saratoga Springs area: Tim DeGregory, Carl Luciano, Dan Tallman, and Rich Johns.
Rich Johns, a long-time educator and coach at Saratoga Springs Central School District, is receiving the John Cahill Community Service Award.
“I’m honored by the induction. I’m looking forward to it. Johnny Cahill was one of the top referees in the country for years. I got the call and I sent a letter to a buddy of mine and I said, ‘I’m getting in, but not for my basketball skills,’” Johns laughed.
“I’m honored by it, community service has always meant so much to me, but to do it in this arena with so many athletes and coaches, what an honor,” Johns said.
Tim DeGregory, a former local player from Saratoga Central Catholic, now working in the IT industry, had a very successful basketball career via Spa Catholic and RPI.
“I had a pretty successful career at Spa Catholic playing basketball. I had very good seasons my junior and senior year. I went on to RPI where I played on the varsity team four years and was the leading scorer my junior and senior year of college. When I graduated, I was second on the all time scoring list,” DeGregory said, explaining some of his basketball accomplishments.
DeGregory and his wife, Brenda, have three children in the Saratoga Springs Central School District; Mira, Abby, and Andy.
“Mostly I want to thank my parents and brothers as well as various coaches, like Bob King at Spa Catholic, coach Griffin at RPI, and those that helped me along the way,” DeGregory said.
Dan Tallman is a former local player, playing at Saratoga Springs Central School District and Skidmore College.
“I was at a Spa Catholic game when Rene LeRoux had mentioned that they were going to put me in next year’s class, 2019, and then I got a call a few months later that a gentleman who was supposed to be inducted this year could no longer make it due to health reasons. So, they wanted to know if I wanted to get inducted this year,” Tallman explained.
Tallman played basketball his entire life; he was a center in high school, a forward in college, a threespot at the semi-pro level. He was also voted MVP his senior year at Saratoga Springs High School.
“My moms age is 82 and life has no guarantees. Mom would be very happy to see that, this is a proud moment for her. Without her, none of this is possible. She’s the best,” Tallman said of his mother, Mary Verns Tallman.
During college, Tallman attended Utica College his first year, then SUNY Adirondack for his sophomore year, “it’s still the best basketball year ACC ever had,” he explained.
He went back to Utica for his junior year and then finished his college career at Skidmore College under Damian Fantauzzi, his high school coach.
“He is actually the man who got me impassioned to play the game, he was my idol. I looked up to him and his word was gospel. I wanted to be just like coach,” Tallman said of Fantauzzi.
Carl Luciano has been refereeing for the last 25 years and still has plans to continue.
“I had done a Division III National Championship game back in 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia and I think Rene LeRoux was there for that and I think he’s gone to a lot of local games so throughout the years he’s seen me referee a lot of high profile games. I’ve been very fortunate to work a lot of high profile games and I’ve done a pretty good job on them. I haven’t been on ESPN for the wrong reasons,” Luciano laughed.
Luciano has been teaching second grade at Division Street School for the last 20 years and is an alumnus of Ballston Spa High School.
“It’s a great honor. Some of my former mentors are in there so it’s nice to be recognized even though I’m still currently a ref. Hopefully I still have a few years left. There are a lot of fellow referees that are just as good as me. I don’t think I’m better than any of them, I just think I’m fortunate enough to work a lot of the games that I’ve done. It takes a good person to be a referee,” Luciano said.