Tag Archives: Campus Magnet High School

PSAL basketball’s top scorer chooses school over his sport


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre
In a small classroom in Campus Magnet High School, the PSAL’s 2014 top scorer Nohah Vickers stumbled over an emotional speech before signing his National Letter of Intent.

He had just two shirts representing the schools that offered him full scholarships to play basketball at the next level. The first was Delaware State University—a Division 1 school that plays in the same conference as Norfolk State University, where pro player and former Campus Magnet standout Kyle O’Quinn played.

The other shirt was for Division II Mercyhurst University, a liberal arts Catholic college. After getting through his emotional story about the season, his basketball journey and the painstakingly difficult decision of which college to choose— which he couldn’t even make until the same morning—Vickers finally said it: “Mercyhurst.”

“I wanted to choose a school that best fits me, education-wise,” Vickers said at the event on Thursday.

Vickers, who led the league averaging 33.2 points per game and finished with 466 points scored, choose getting a degree and focusing on education rather than playing basketball. Besides being an all-star player, Vickers is a scholar who will graduate with a 93 average.

A very small percentage of college players from Division 1 schools actually go to the NBA — it’s an even smaller percentage from high school. At 5’9’’, 165 pounds, Vickers’ chances were reduced even further.

“Every kid that accepts a college scholarship, they think the next step from the college scholarship is the NBA,” Ken Vickers, Nohah’s father, said. “I know the next step for Nohah that [relieves] me as a parent is the job market.”

Campus Magnet HS head coach Charles Granby has preached his famous message of brains before basketball to his players for the 45 years he’s been at the sidelines, and taught players to dedicate themselves to getting their degrees.

Granby retired this year, but was present for Vickers’ selection party, and was proud of his choice.

“He’ll play for four years and after he comes out of there, he will have to find a J-O-B,” Granby said. “I always tell the boys, “Don’t wind up in the prison system, get that degree because that degree is your invitation to the party.’”

Vickers isn’t giving up on sports yet though. He plans to major in sports management at Merychurst.

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Campus Magnet Coach Charles Granby honored after 45 years


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Charles “Chuck” Granby, who retired from coaching the Campus Magnet High School boys basketball team after 45 years, had his official retirement party on Saturday.

Many past players, including Orlando Magic forward Kyle O’Quinn and Brooklyn Councilman Robert Cornegy, were in attendance to honor the PSAL’s winningest basketball coach.

Granby’s past and current players gave testimonials, many of which referred to the coach’s famous “ugly life” speech — which means that without education, everything in your life will be “ugly.” They attributed their success in life to

Granby’s focus on their education over their basketball skills.

“Looking in a room like this, this is a testament to him,” Cornegy said. “It strengthens my resolve to go on and continue to work with young people.”

Granby, 72, has won 722 games in his time at the school. He has taught basketball to thousands of teens over the years, and his teams have won 24 division titles, seven Queens championships and the coveted city title in 1985.

He was presented a crystal cube with his picture from a former player and also a special quilt featuring highlights of his career at Campus Magnet, formerly Andrew Jackson High School.

“It’s so emotional,” Granby’s daughter Robyn Granby-Poole said. “It was good to get it done.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Campus Magnet routs Edison for coach Charles Granby final home game


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

With just under a minute remaining at the Campus Magnet boys basketball home game against Thomas Edison on Thursday, fans starting signing “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye.”

It could have been a song of pride as the Bulldogs were on route to rout the Edison Inventors to the tune of 87-48. But it was probably a farewell chant for Bulldogs’ head coach Charles Granby.

After 45 seasons platooning the sidelines for Campus Magnet, Granby is finally leaving the Bulldogs bench. And although the Bulldogs (4-10) didn’t show much bite this year, they barked loudly on Granby’s final home game. Campus Magnet’s top scorer, Nohah Vickers, dropped 54 points and dished 7 assists in the win.

“We just played together today and we were just motivated to give him a big win,” Vickers said. “We just wanted the last home game to be a good one, and a memorable one.”

Granby, 79, started teaching physical education at Campus Magnet in 1969 when it was called Andrew Jackson High School. He remained a teacher until 1996, but continued to coach because of his passion for basketball.

He is the winningest coach in PSAL history with 722 victories. He has taught basketball to thousands of teens over the years, and his teams have won 24 division titles, seven Queens championships and the coveted city title in 1985.

Granby himself played basketball at Bradley University, and was on the team when they won the National Invitational Tournament in 1960.

For his accomplishments, he was inducted in the New York State and New York City basketball hall of fames.

But this year Granby knew it was time.

“I just felt tired,” he said. “I’ve been here 45 years. It’s time to go.”

Despite all the trophies, honors and banners, many of which hang in the rafters of the Bulldogs home gym, what many appreciate is Granby’s mentor style that stretches beyond basketball.

His famed “ugly life” speech—without education everything in your life will be “ugly”— is given to players the day they walk in the gym. And even at his final home game, after fans dispersed and the lights in the gym turned off, Granby gave another lecture to his players.

He preached about the importance of going to college and not relying on basketball. He also told the boys to take care of their children when they become fathers.

Many past players hearing these speeches have experienced success, including Orlando Magic forward Kyle O’Quinn and newly elected Brooklyn City Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr.

“Dad is a father to everybody,” Granby’s daughter Robyn Granby-Poole said. “He’s not worried about the wins. He’s not thinking about that. He’s thinking about OK now your future is going to rely on (education) make sure you have this because basketball may come to an end.”

Now that basketball is coming to an end for him, Granby plans to relax and travel with his free time.

Granby’s successor hasn’t been named, but he’ll leave a lasting legacy for his replacement to look up to.

“It’s one of those things of who replaces the legendary coach?” said Gareth Robinson, the principal for the PSAL in the school. “For anything they do people who have been around in the community will wonder ‘oh well Granby wouldn’t have done it that way.’”

There will be a retirement party for Granby on April 26 at Jericho Terrace.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

As family mourns teen, community expresses outrage over bus shooting


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

What community leaders are calling a “senseless act of violence” has left a 14-year-old girl dead, a family devastated and a neighborhood outraged.

D’aja “Asia” Robinson was shot and killed on Saturday aboard a Q6 bus near Sutphin Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard. Robinson was on her way from a sweet 16 birthday party when a shooter allegedly fired multiple times into the bus from the sidewalk, police said.

“That was my only child. My heart. My everything,” Shadia Sands, the teen’s mother, said through tears. “I don’t know how to deal with this.”

Since the incident, there has been an outpouring of grief from the community. Friends and family covered a bulletin board near the bus stop with hundreds of messages to Robinson. They described her as a charismatic, sweet girl who was a gifted singer and dancer.

Her grandmother, Cheryl Sands, stood at the board, stroking pictures of “her baby.”

“I’d die myself for [her] to come back here and live [her] life,” she said. “My heart is bleeding. She was a good girl.”

The southeast Queens community came together on Tuesday to call on the shooter or shooters to come forward. NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police are looking for a suspect between the ages of 18 and 25 who was last seen wearing a black sweater, according to reports.

“South Jamaica is standing unified behind this family,” said Councilmember Ruben Wills.

Wills noted that prior to the shooting, the area went 255 days without a violent incident and said that South Jamaica is “not a hyper-violent community.”

The City Council announced it allocated $4.8 million to initiatives such as Cure Violence to put an end to shootings. Wills said there will be a meeting next month to discuss directing resources to the community.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the city hopes to “make this a summer where we don’t have to ever gather again to talk about the end of a child’s life.”

“What we do know is that we failed [Robinson]. The United States Congress in particular failed to protect her,” said Congressmember Gregory Meeks.

Meeks called on the Congress to “enact meaningful gun control legislation to help stop the carnage in communities and homes and now buses across the nation.”

Students at Robinson’s school, Campus Magnet High School, wore purple, pink and blue earlier this week in memory of their classmate.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637) and entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

High School Hoops Playoff Preview


| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com


The Bayside Commodores (13-3) will face the Wadleigh Secondary School Tigers (18-1) in the second round of the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) A Division “AA” playoffs after both teams received a bye in the first round. Junior point guard Brandon King led the Commodores in scoring with 16 points during the season. Fellow classmate Austin Williams was second on the team with 14.6 points a game with four assists and five rebounds a game. As a team the Commodores have averaged 62 points a game, while allowing 48.7 points a game. For the Tigers, senior Basil Harley led the team during the regular season with 17.38 points a game to go along with 8.56 assists a game. Senior Louis Costen averaged a double-double on the year with 15.07 points a game and 12.20 points a game. As a team, the Tigers averaged 68.6 points a game while defensively they allowed 52.2 points a game. While the Tigers gave up a few more points than the Commodores, they also scored a little more. The Tigers should win a close game and continue to advance through the playoffs.

The Benjamin Cardozo Judges (15-2) will take on the Martin Van Buren Vee Bees (5-9) in the second round of the playoffs. In the first round, the Judges received a bye while the Vee Bees beat the McKee/Staten Island Tech by a score of 74-66. For the Judges, Tajay Henry led the team with 15.38 points a game, while the senior grabbed 8.69 rebounds a game as well. Overall, the Judges have scored 72.8 points per game during the regular season. On the defensive side, the Judges allowed 54.1 per game. Senior Brandon Howard was the top scorer on the Vee Bees during the regular season with 15 points a game. The Vee Bees allowed more points than they were able to score, allowing 60 points a game while scoring 52.3 points a game. This game will be an easy one for the Judges. The Vee Bees will be unable to stop the Judges’ offensive attack.

After beating the James Monroe Campus Eagles (5-11) in the first round of the playoffs by a score of 65-30 the Campus Magnet Bull-Dogs (12-4) will face the Curtis Warriors who are in the midst of a perfect 14-0 season. For the Bull-Dogs, senior Tarik Raynor was number one in scoring with 16.54 points per game. The Bull-Dogs averaged 56.5 points a game while allowing 50.2 points a game. Senior Dontay Jackson led the Warriors during the regular season with 16.69 points a game. The Warriors were able to play both sides of the ball well, averaging 74 points a game while allowing 47.4 points a game. There is no reason the Warriors should not be able to extend their perfect season. While the Bull-Dogs have had a good season, they will not be able to keep up with the Warriors.

The John Adams Spartans (11-4) beat the James Madison Knights by a score of 50-48 in the first round of the playoffs and will now play the Hunter College High School Hawks (16-2). For the Spartans, junior Markell French did it all, scoring 17.14 points a game, pulling down 9.43 rebounds a game, and dishing out 6.29 assists a game. The Spartans scored 59.8 points a game as a team while allowing 48.7 points a game. Senior Sam Gordon averaged a double-double for the Hawks with 19.06 points a game and 11.50 rebounds a game. As a team, the Hawks averaged 71.7 points a game while allowing 54.3 points a game. The Spartans, who just three years ago were 5-11, will put up a good fight but in the end will come up short against the strong Hawks.