Former Christ the King coach Vincent Cannizzaro and St. John’s Prep Coach Jim Gatto will be two of the nine newest members of the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame when they are inducted at a brunch Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center during the state Federation tournament.
Cannizzaro, the retired transit police detective, is the architect of the famed Middle Village powerhouse. He compiled a 456-49 record in 19 seasons there, won 14 consecutive CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan titles, 12 state crowns and 10 consecutive Federation crowns and put together a 120-game league win streak.
He also won three USA Today mythical national championships and 60 of his players earned athletic scholarships, including Sue Bird (Connecticut) and Chamique Holdsclaw (Tennessee), before leaving to become an assistant at Stony Brook eight years ago. Since amicably leaving Stony Brook, he formed the National Recruiting Report, a scouting guide for college coaches on the nation’s finest high school recruits.
Gatto, meanwhile, has won over 500 games at St. John’s Prep (formerly Mater Christi), has been honored by the Frank McGuire Foundation and is a member of the Old Timers Basketball Hall of Fame. His last title came in 2005.
- Zachary Braziller