Abbensett produces in other ways for Edison


| zbraziller@queenscourier.com |

When Thomas Edison is in need of a basket, their options are limitless. Starters Allan Thomas, Presano Bell and Isiah Stokley are in the top 17 of Queens AA, all scoring at least 12 points per game.
When the Inventors need an important rebound or defensive stop, however, Arthur Abbensett is the one player they look for.
The unsung 6-foot-4, 175-pound senior forward does score when called upon. He tallied 20 points in Edison’s 76-68 victory over Forest Hills, including their first six points of the second half, a win that guaranteed the Inventors (13-3, Queens AA) a top three seed in the upcoming borough playoffs.
Yet he prefers to do other things, the lesser-noticed hustle plays that do not appear in a box score. He dives for loose balls and blocks shots. Sets solid screens and makes the extra pass.
“Artie,” Edison Coach John Ulmer said, “brings a toughness to the team.”
That ability arose when the Astoria native first learned the game of basketball. He wanted to be versatile. He ignored how many shots he took in a given game, but how many the player he was guarding sank.
He has remained multi-dimensional. Abbensett goes unnoticed often because he is not knocking down 3-pointers or throwing down emphatic slam-dunks, but he can score. He gets his points after skying for offensive rebounds or in transition, and has added a consistent baby jumper.
“When everybody’s not doing as well, I step up,” he said.
For a team that bickers occasionally over point production, Abbensett is a godsend. Abbensett is fine with being a role player, as the glue guy to the talented Inventors. He always does his best to shut down the opposition’s best player and hits the glass with fervor.
“Everything nobody else does,” he said, “I do.”
He has nevertheless seen his production rise, to where he is averaging a double double with 10 points and 13.5 rebounds a game, numbers that have risen two-fold from a season ago. Abbensett does not have an explanation for his improvement.
“I just want to keep playing hard,” he said.
At what level - and where - he will play in college is yet to be determined. He has yet to receive a scholarship offer, but the City College of New York and Queens College, local Division III programs, have inquired about him.
“He’s going to go out and play his game and he brings that same intensity to practice,” Ulmer said.
For that reason, Ulmer has given Abbensett the reins as a team leader. He is allowed to send a teammate to an early shower if they are not working hard enough. So far, he has not had to resort to such means.
“It’s an honor,” he said. “It means he thinks I’m responsible enough.”