ElmCor, a youth and adult center located in Queens, is known to develop beginner basketball players under some well-known coaches, and to host various hoop leagues and classics, including its own ElmCor Summer Outdoor circuit at the PS 127 playground with evening and rain out games shifting indoors to its Center.
The directors of the Corona based center also bring back the stars of the past, including college all-Americans, high school all-Americans and professional players to its tremendous facility.
Such was the case when after its regular summer league season was completed, Glenn McMillian, who puts on showcases, games and leagues at the Brownsville Recreation Center in Brooklyn, teamed with Greg Coles, summer basketball league director at ElmCor to put together a Philadelphia-New York Classic for men 40 and 50 in two games.
One of the notable stars brought back was former all-city and outstanding player in the nation to play in the 40 contest, Charles Jones, who starred at Bishop Ford High School, Rutgers University and finished his career with Long Island University. But he never made it big time in the National Basketball Association.
In the recent classic competition designed to keep the players in shape for a possible future career on the court, everyone had almost equal playing time on the court.
Jones was not as flashy offensively like he used to be while starring in both high school and college. He said that it was fun and a good experience playing in such a New York-Philadelphia contest. “It’s like going to a family re-union,” he said after the game.
“My greatest moment at Ford was playing in a classic in San Diego,” the 40-year-old Jones said. “They had some of the top teams and players in the country and eight All-Americans. We made it to the semi-finals. And we played in the Stop DWI tournament in Binghamton.”
His greatest moment at Long Island University was taking his team to the NCAA tournament.
“Our conference championship was ‘cool,’ (all right) and scoring 30 points ware (also) all right,” he said. But playing in an NCAA tournament as a junior was great. We lost in the first round to Villanova by nine points. We (just) didn’t have enough to win the game. As a senior we played in the NIT (National Invitation Tournament, and lost in the first round.”
He led the nation for NCAA Division I colleges in scoring for two years in a row as a junior and then again as a senior, and finished among the top 10 in assists and steals.
He competed in many basketball games with different teams overseas and travelled extensively.
As for continuing his basketball career, Jones is coaching AAU ball with Nike New York Lightning and is hoping that some college would give him a chance to become a head coach. Of course, he would like to coach a team in the National Basketball Association.
Besides coaching teams, Jones is also training and coaching kids in the tri-state area and in the South. Jones kept in hoop-shape during the summer by competing in the Rucker League.