STEPHANIE SIMON MAKES MORE CHS TRACK HISTORY
Stephanie Simon became the first Chelsea High girl ever to compete in three events at the MIAA all-state meet this past Saturday at Fitchburg State University.
The sophomore turned in a strong performance, taking 11th in the high jump with a leap of 5’-4”; 15th in the 100 dash with a time of 12.65; and 17th in the triple jump with a distance of of 35’-3”.
“While none of the performances were personal bests for Stephanie, she performed well competing in multiple events,” said CHS coach Mark Martineau.
Senior Martine Simon also competed in the all-state meet, finishing in 18th place in the triple jump with a leap of 35’-2”.
Both of the Simon sisters and junior Jocelyn Poste will compete in the state heptathlon this Tuesday and Thursday at North Reading High School.
sports museum hosts 2018 stand strong graduation
The Sports Museum hosted its 2018 Stand Strong Graduation on June 4 at TD Garden in Legends.
Members of the Jordan Boys and Girls Club of Chelsea received framed certificates of completion at the ceremony that was led by Sports Museum Director of Education Michelle Gormley.
Sports Museum Executive Director Rusty Sullivan and Northeastern University basketball star Jeremy Miller held a question-and-answer session for the youths.
Miller responded to questions such as: How tall are you? (6-foot, 9 and three-quarter-inches); What is your favorite NBA team? (San Antonio Spurs; and When will you enter the NBA draft? (in 2019).
The youths appreciated Miller’s story about how he kept a positive attitude after sustaining a knee injury in his freshman season. Miller worked hard during the rehabilitation process and became a star player on a very good Northeastern team that will contend for an NCAA Tournament berth again next season.
Miller said that some of his outside-of-basketball interests are improvisational comedy, acting, and music. Miller was a huge hit with the youths, graciously posing for photographs and signing autographs.
Stand Strong is a 12-week interactive character development program focusing on the core values of Teamwork, Courage, Fairness, Determination, and Responsibilty.
The Stand Strong curriculum includes a number of field trips where students engage in fun activities centered on the aspects of character.
FUN-DAMENTAL BASKETBALL CAMP TO START
The annual FUN-damental Basketball Camp, open to boys and girls in the local area, will be held July 16-July 20, at the Immaculate Conception Parish Center, located at 59 Summer Street in Everett.
The camp will be held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for boys and girls entering grades three thru nine as of September 2018. The cost of the camp is $100.
Tony Ferullo, boys’ varsity basketball coach at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, will be the camp director.
Each camper, who will receive a t-shirt, certificate and medal, will participate in various drills, scrimmages and individual contests. Special guests will speak and share their personal basketball tips. An awards ceremony will take place on the last day of the camp, and parents and friends are welcome to attend.
For more information about the FUN-damental Basketball Camp, please contact Camp Director Tony Ferullo: 857-312-7002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swampscott resident Ian Thomsen, one of the nation’s leading sportswriters for the past three decades, will be in Winthrop on April 19 to talk about his new book, “The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between Lebron, Kobe, Doc and Dirk That Saved the NBA.”
Thomas will be speaking about the book and his illustrious career and signing autographs during a special appearance at the Cottage Park Yacht Club.
Thomsen, considered a giant in the writing profession (and not only because he stands a towering 6 feet, 6 inches tall), has a strong affinity for Winthrop. His wife, Maureen (Ford), and well-known Winthrop resident Kathleen Doherty are sisters. He is a proud uncle to Kathleen’s four, talented daughters, who excelled in sports at Winthrop High School. Thomsen has visited the town on many occasions and enjoys many of the restaurants here, especially Alia Ristorante.
Thomsen’s book, which focuses on the NBA’s 2010-11 season following LeBron James’s nationally televised “Decision” to play for the Miami Heat, is drawing rave reviews in advance of its April 17 release. His friend, Jackie MacMullan, with whom he interned at the Boston Globe, gave the book a “thumbs-up” during an appearance on ESPN’s “Around The Horn” this week.
It’s easy to see why Thomsen’s book would instantly become a “must-read” for fans of the world’s greatest basketball league. Following his graduation from Northwestern, which sits at the top of the list of college journalism programs in the country alongside Columbia and Missouri, Thomsen began working at the Globe where he covered three NBA finals of Larry Bird versus Magic Johnson. He was also courtside in Barcelona for the original Dream Team’s gold medal-winning performance in the Summer Olympics.
Thomsen said the book focuses on the 2010-11 NBA season that began with NBA prodigy LeBron James telling Jim Gray on “The Decision” that he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and going to “take my talents to South Beach (Miami).”
“At that time it looked like the NBA was really in trouble,” said Thomsen. “So LeBron was supposed to be the savior for the league, the next Michael Jordan, and over the course of several years, culminating with that show, he turned himself into the villain. He was the most hated athlete in America after that show, combined with the following day in Miami when he did that rally and pronounced that he would win five…six titles for Miami.”
The NBA was heading toward a lockout at that time, and there was talk of a shutdown of the league following the season due to a dispute between the owners and the NBA Players Union.
“That’s why I did the book – it was about that season and what was it really about,” said Thomsen. “Is this a game of making money and drawing audiences? Was is a business? Or was it something more valuable than a business? And that’s how the publisher came up with the title, “The Soul of Basketball” because it’s really trying to find out what the soul of the game is. It’s something more than money and fame.”
Thomsen’s conclusion: “That basketball becomes the sport of the American dream and that the biggest names in basketball are driven by something more valuable than money and fame.”
The NBA player who helped Thomsen figure out that basketball is the sport of the American dream was 7-footer Dirk Nowitzki, who has had a Hall of Fame-caliber career for the Dallas Mavericks.
“Dirk’s the hero of the book,” said Thomsen. “He’s an immigrant [from Germany] and he changed the game. He’s the first 7-footer to shoot three-pointers. He was drawn here by the ideals of basketball. He was never a commercial guy. He showed by winning the NBA championship in 2011 that it’s a dream for anyone around the world to play the American game, come to the greatest league in the world, and beat everybody at the game. He lived out his version of the American Dream and helps us come up with an identity for our sport.”
In compiling interviews for the book, Thomsen used his sterling reputation among the NBA community to gain inside access to players. Thomsen had a longtime connection to Nowitzki’s basketball mentor, Holger Geschwindner, about whom he had written a feature during his tenure as a writer for Sports Illustrated.
“He taught Dirk how to shoot the basketball – he invented a shooting stroke for Dirk and they practiced every day: footwork, balance, the proper angle and trajectory, keep your mouth open while you’re shooting, every last detail,” related Thomsen.
In addition to Nowitzki, the other main characters in the book are LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Doc Rivers.
“Kobe was really good for the book,” said Thomsen. “I joined Sports illustrated at the end of 1997, and I was assigned to do a story about Kobe and the Lakers. He was 19 years old, and we went to an outdoor restaurant in Santa Monica and we talked for four hours. The story made the cover. I think that relationship helped convince Kobe to talk to me for this book.”
Asked about the notorious Sports Illustrated cover jinx, Thomsen replied, “Kobe turned out okay.”
No less a brilliant sports columnist than Winthrop resident Leigh Montville, formerly of the Boston Globe and Sports illustrated, is praising Thomsen’s book.
Writes Montville on the book’s jacket, “Travel back to the 2010 season, when LeBron and his two amigos arrived in Miami, when Dirk asserted himself in Dallas, when the league went through an economic and social convulsion. Marinate to see all the repercussions. Thomsen tells the tale with the deft prose and snappy anecdotes and brings us all up to speed on what might come next.”
Winthrop fans will have the opportunity to meet the author in person and talk some basketball with him next week.
And that’s going to be hoop heaven for those who have followed the game.
Chelsea High basketball star Allysa Rivera is pictured with her parents, Jose Rivera and Nilda Justiniano.
By Cary Shuman
Chelsea High School senior Allysa Rivera entered the 1,000-point club in the manner one would expect – converting her specialty, the three-point shot.
Rivera hit a three-pointer deep in the left corner in the second quarter of Chelsea’s 44-19 victory over Minuteman Tech to reach the milestone, joining former CHS greats Denise Chappell and Autumn Lopez in the exclusive club. She needed 14 for her 1,000th point and she finished the game with 25.
The 5-foot-2-inch guard is an outside shooter extraordinaire, rekindling memories of former three-point artist John Saunders, who played for coach Jack Niven’s Red Devils in the 1980s.
Chelsea coach Ted Freeley has been Rivera’s coach for four varsity seasons. He’s helped develop her talents and built a winning program around the prolific scorer and reigning conference MVP. Chelsea has qualified for the State Tournament in three of the last four years.
“Allysa is an unbelievable ballhandler. She’s a one-person press breaker,” said Freeley. “And she’s an outstanding shooter, particularly on three-pointers.”
While Stephen Curry has been lighting up the NBA from three-point land, Rivera has been hitting nothing but net in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. She set a school-record with 7 three-pointers and 21 points in one quarter versus Northeast Regional and had 10 three-pointers and 30 points overall in the game.
“Allysa has worked hard on her outside shooting,” said Freeley. “We’ve been working on her short-range game and driving to the basket because I think that’s what she is going to need down the road.”
A very good student, Rivera has been in correspondence with Mitchell College in Connecticut, Nichols College, and New England College.
“Allysa can definitely play at the next level,” said Freeley.
Rivera’s achievement was part of a special night for the program. The Red Devils won their tenth game of the season to qualify for the State Tournament and Rivera and her fellow seniors, Amalia Alvarado and Ida Fernandes, were honored during “Senior Night” festivities before the game.
We were so proud to take part in Suffolk County District Daniel F. Conley 7th Annual Basketball For Peace Tournament at the UMass Boston Clark Athletic Center.
DA Conley and his staff once again accomplished the mission of this wonderful event: to bring Boston’s young people together for a day of safe, healthy, team-oriented fun and give youth, parents, and community leaders an opportunity to meet the prosecutors, victim advocates, community outreach staff, and other professionals in the DA’s office.
From the moment the youths entered the gymnasium at UMass, they knew they were part of a truly special and well-organized event. The basketball games were played competitively and with sportsmanship and were officiated by professional referees. There was a real sense of camaraderie among the players and coaches on the teams who hailed from all parts of Suffolk County.
DA Conley and his staff made a great event even greater by inviting Leon Powe, the former Boston Celtics star, to serve as the guest speaker. Powe certainly enlightened the youths with his story of not taking his studies seriously enough as a youth to his becoming a serious-minded student and one of the best high school basketball players in the country and matriculating at the highly regarded University of California-Berkeley. Powe’s success at Cal led to the realization of his dream of playing in the NBA.
UMass Vice Chancellor Charlie Titus, one of the most prominent and respected names in all of college athletics, was a deserving recipient of a lifetime achievement award and you could tell how much this recognition by DA Conley meant to the legendary basketball coach and college administrator. The other honorees on this day were also grateful to DA Conley and his staff for being recognized as role models.
DA Conley oversees the busiest district attorney’s office in the Commonwealth. He is a credit to Stonehill College and Suffolk University Law School. For the district attorney to continue the great tradition that this basketball tournament has become speaks well of his noble declaration that “the most important part of my job is serving the people of Suffolk County.”
Keep up the great work, Suffolk County DA Daniel Conley.