Several players, who are still involved in the sport, were recently inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, during ceremonies at the New York Athletic Cub. In addition, the President of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame Bob Williams, new members,family, friends and representatives of their school, all gathered in the crowded room at the club.
Williams looked back recalling his basketball career and spoke to most everyone in attendance and congratulated the inductees before the ceremony began.
Now 73 years of age and looking back, Williams and Howie Garfiinkel started this Hall in 1990.
Williams, who enjoys basketball, resides in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Basketball in the Virgin Islands is not considered a big sport.
Both of his parents were born in the Virgin Islands, but they initially met in New York City. A native of the Bronx, Williams attended Theodore Roosevelt High School and then New York University’s Bronx campus where he made some hoop headlines.
Some 11 years ago, Williams retired and settled in St. Croix, where he is taking an easy life. He returned to New York for this special occasion.
“I had the Sports Foundation for 44 years,” he recalled. I was on its board of directors and ran the foundation in basketball.
Comparing basketball now with the sport of yesteryear, he said that a player has to be able to run.
“If you ask me who was the best basketball player, I think that I would say Oscar Robertson. But you would say Michael Jordan. Robertson would play the ball on the ground. ‘Air’ Jordan played it above the rim. They played different positions. One was a guard and one played an all around game. But Oscar, in my life time, was the best fundamental player (in the game).”
“Tim Duncan (in the National Basketball Association) came from the Virgin Islands,” Williams added. “Baseball is a big sport in the Virgin Islands.”
Nowadays Williams does not miss the game.
“Baseball was my favorite sport, not basketball,” he added. “I went to New York University on a basketball scholarship and was captain of its team in ‘62 – ‘63. Those were my (good days). I graduated in ’63 and got my masters in ’74 from NYU). And I played pro ball in Spain.”
Going back to the present time, among the inductees into the New York City Basketbal Hall of Fame included players Speedy Claxton, Mike Riordan, Charlie Davis, and Felipe Lopez, along with contributor Hugh Evans. All of them felt tremendous to be inducted.
The late Jack Rohan, represented by his son Chris was also inducted. Jack holds the distinction of coaching Columbia University as he won the most games in the college’s history.
Turning to the distaff side, the girls team at Christ The King High School of 1993 entered the Hall of Fame. The players, and spokepersons at the school were all in attendance.