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Speedy Claxton Inducted to NYCB HOF
Hofstra great honored with another Hall of Fame induction
The honors keep piling up for Hofstra and Long Island basketball great Speedy Claxton. He was inducted to the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month.
Already a member of Hofstra’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Claxton jumped on board as an assistant coach with the basketball program last season after spending the previous two years as a scout with Golden State in the NBA.
The Speedy Claxton File (Hofstra)
• Graduated from Hofstra in 2000 as one of only six players in school history to score 2,000 career points (2,015)
• Graduated as the program’s all-time leader in both assists (660) and steals (288)
• Two-time Player of the Year selection in the America East Conference (1998, 2000)
• Named the 2000 winner of the Haggerty Award, given to the top player in the Metropolitan New York area, after leading Hofstra to an America East Conference championship and its first NCAA Division I tournament berth in 23 years
The Speedy Claxton File (Pros)
• First round draft pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2000
• Earned an NBA title as a member of the San Antonio Spurs in 2003
• Averaged 9.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game
Sports on Plum Island
American soldiers kept occupied on grounds of Fort Terry
Imagine Plum Island as something other than the Animal Disease Center that it is today and people would think you’re crazy. But long before it was used by the Department of Homeland Security to study foreign animal diseases it was occupied by soldiers at Fort Terry.
Those soldiers had to keep occupied on the island just off the coast of the North Fork, so they took to open land and played sports. Photos of the athletic history on Plum Island are currently being featured in the administrative complex on the island in an exhibit supplied by the Southold Historical Society. Tours and access to the island are by appointment for approved groups only.
At the time, it wasn’t easy to attract and maintain a fit, fighting force for the United States Army prior to World War I.
The military encouraged men to participate in various sports and to form teams with their companies. At Fort Terry, there are acres of open land that was once home to football and baseball fields. Soldiers also boxed, swam and took part in track and field activities. The structures from Fort Terry are still standing on the island.
Soldiers often played against other competition from around Long Island and Connecticut.
Fort Terry was a coastal fortification and defense area to protect New York and America from foreign invaders and enemies. It was established in 1897 and used through the end of World War II.
The photo collection is on loan from Bolling Smith and the Coast Defense Study Group who is dedicated to the study and preservation of U.S. Coastal Defense Structures.
HU Hoops Gets New Arena Floor
Continuing with its progressive thinking, the Hofstra University Depart of Athletics hosted a contest for fans, students, designers and artists to submit possible basketball court designs.
The court has already been completed in the Hofstra Basketball Practice Facility and will be redone in the Mack Sports Complex later this summer, according to the university’s Office of Athletic Communications.
There were nine winners that each contributed some component of the final court design, Hofstra said.
“We thank all the wonderful Hofstra Basketball fans that submitted potential court designs,” commented Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeffrey A. Hathaway in a statement. “Our basketball programs are thrilled with how the court turned out and appreciate the great support from the community. We can’t wait to showcase the court during the upcoming 2014-15 season.”
Legendary Sportscaster Bob Wolff Makes Guinness Book of World Records
Just when you thought Bob Wolff couldn’t do anything more impressive in a career that has seen one remarkable moment after another, the legendary Long Island sportscaster earned his way into the Guinness Book of World Records for the second time.
He now has the “longest career as a broadcaster.” Wolff’s record was certified during a special pre-game ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the spring. He also holds the world record for “longest career as sportscaster.”
This is a man used to recognition for his work. He’s enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the National Basketball Hall of Fame; the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame and the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame. He has won countless Emmy Awards and the TV Ace Award.
Wolff, 93, is in his 75th year as a broadcaster. He is the only sportscaster to call a World Series, NBA Final, Stanley Cup Final and Super Bowl. He had the play-by-play call for Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1955 and the 1958 NFL Championship game between New York and Baltimore, dubbed “the greatest football game ever played.”
Wolff, who is old enough to have interviewed Babe Ruth, has been broadcasting sports news on News 12 for the last 28 years.
“Bob Wolff is a true broadcasting pioneer,” Guinness World Records Official Mike Janela said in a statement. “His career embodies longevity and versatility, and we’re honored to recognize this special achievement in the Bronx, where he called some of his most amazing moments.”
LIer Sonny Milano Drafted by Blue Jackets
It doesn’t happen often, but Long Island added another native son to world of professional hockey last week. The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Massapequa native Sonny Milano in the first round of the NHL Draft.
With nearly 50 family members and friends at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for the draft, Milano was selected 16th overall. He already committed to play at Boston College, after de-committing to Notre Dame, and will play college hockey. The Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League own Milano’s Canadian junior rights as well.
“He was very high on our list,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a story on the team’s website. “He’s a very skilled forward, a creative forward also. Our scouts very high on him, as well. He seems like a pretty mature kid physically, too, but I think there’s a lot of growing up to and a lot of hard work ahead of him.”
Milano recorded 72 points (24 goals) with the USTNDP U-18 club this season. He lived in Ohio for a year playing junior hockey, so he has some connection to the Columbus area. As a kid growing up on Long Island, however, he was an Islanders fan.
“When I heard them call my name, I was so excited,” Milano told the Blue Jackets. “You’re a little nervous sitting there, and you want to go to a place where someone wants you. There’s a little bit of pressure, but it’s fine.”
Milano is just the 12th Long Island native drafted by an NHL team. There are only a dozen or so more who went undrafted and played in the league.
Milano is not the highest draft pick off the island. The Canadiens took Mike Komisarek (Smithtown) with the seventh overall pick in 2001, the Flames took Eric Nystrom (Portledge) 10th overall in 2002 and Chris Higgins (Smithtown) was taken by the Canadiens 14th overall also in 2002.
Other LIers drafted by NHL teams
*Chris Ferraro, Rangers, Port Jefferson
*Peter Ferraro, Rangers, Port Jefferson
*Rich Hansen, Islanders, Northport
*Chris Higgins, Canadiens, Smithtown
*Val James, Red Wings, unknown
*Mike Komisarek, Canadians, St. Anthony’s
*Eric Nystrom, Flames, Portledge
*Kyle Palmieri, Ducks, Smithtown
*Jim Pavese, Blues, Kings Park
*Rob Scuderi, Penguins, St. Anthony’s
*Paul Skidmore, Blues, Smithtown
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