Not many high school coaches attain a career 700 victories.
A super team comprised of teamwork in all categories, player dedication and hard work along with top assistant coaches are helping to make it a very successful career for Chuck Granby, one of the top coaches in the metropolitan area.
When his Campus Magnet team recently defeated Forest Hills, Granby won his 700th game at the Cambria Heights based school, formerly called Andrew Jackson, a member of the Public Schools Athletic League.
At press time or after nine games, Campus Magnet held a 6-3 record, with losses to Thomas Jefferson, Beach Channel and the latest to Holy Cross. In league competition Campus Magnet is 5-1.
All the hype has been on Granby, who has been ably assisted by Ken Vickers and Greg ‘Boo’ Harvey.
Vickers is originally from Jamaica, West Indies, and played his college ball under Mark Reiner at Brooklyn College. Harvey played for Granby and then under Lou Carnesecca at St. John’s University.
“The 700 wins are good for Granby,” said Harvey, who had a stunning career with the then Redmen. “He’s a very passionate guy. He has been enjoying high school coaching and hasn’t been talking about going to the college (ranks). He’s more of a teacher than a (college) coach.”
Despite his longevity in the game, Granby didn’t play any high school basketball, but did play college ball at Bradley University. Winning 702 games in 43 years is a great accomplishment for him and for Andrew Jackson/Campus Magnet. He coached many good players in high school and most of them starred in college.
“Seven hundred wins are unbelievable,” said Holy Cross Varsity Coach Paul Gilvery. “What a great presence he has been at that school for all these years. And what a great influence he has been on so many young men. I hope he can do this for many years.”
“Getting his 700th win is satisfying to know that he worked so hard and finally after all these years of being among the kids, coach Granby is most concerned with the academics and getting the kids into school,” said Jordan Vickers, Ken’s son, who played at Nazareth High School, and has been a statistician for the Campus Magnet games since 2007. “He has done a tremendous job over the years and had a lot of success sending numerous players into college and getting them scholarships.”
Meanwhile, Trinidad native Debbie Vickers, the assistant coach’s wife, was happy that Chuck Granby achieved the 700-win barrier.
“It was such an accomplishment,” said Debbie Vickers, whose second son Israel also played under him and ended cup at City College. “Chuck is staying so long at the game coaching the boys.”
Debbie Vickers came to New York from Trinidad as a teenager. Debbie’s brother Francis Franklin played cricket and soccer in Trinidad.
Overall, Campus Magnet’s quintet is small and has to put pressure on their opponents and in the process tries to play an uptempo type of game.
“We want to run up and down trying to wear the other teams out for we’re not big,” assistant Coach ‘Boo’ Harvey said. “We want to get out on the break and have to help out on defense, box out and rebound. If we do these things, it (the wins) will pay off for us. And we’ve been winning so far. I think that we can take the whole thing (win the City PSAL) title.”
Individually, senior Tarik Raynor is the top scorer on the team averaging 21 points a game, four more points than senior Samuel Durodola, while the latter is also its top rebounder, averaging about eight caroms a contest. The top playmaker is sophomore Nohah Vickers with six per outing.
“We have a nice little team,” said Granby, who helped to lead Bradley University, located in Illinois, to the championship of the National Invitation Tournament in one year. “(This Campus Magnet team) is not great. If they play together as a unit we’ll be in the (mix, meaning to be a contender to win the PSAL championship).”
When Campus Magnet is not scheduled to play their games, the assistant coaches go out and scout or look at their upcoming opponents. In addition, they go out and pay particular eyes on getting the seniors into college.
Granby’s goal is to make the playoffs, graduate his players and get them into college.