Christ the King senior forward Kollyns Scarbrough’s last game as a member of the CHSAA might have been her most meaningful.
Scarbrough, who will play for Siena College next year, led the CHSAA All-Star girls basketball team over the PSAL All-Stars to win the NYC Mayor’s Cup, 85-80, on Saturday and earn the title of “best in the city” for her league.
Scarbrough scored 17 points and was named the MVP of the game.
Being that it was her final game in the high school league, the senior wanted to win for bragging rights.
“The PSAL and the Catholic league, there has always been a rivalry, so I really wanted to win that,” Scarbrough said. “It’s New York basketball. Its bragging rights.”
Following the girls game, the boys’ NYC Mayor’s Cup All-Star game commenced. Once again, the CHSAA defeated the PSAL, 108-86.
Christ the King point guard Andre Walker, like most high school seniors, didn’t want to lose his final game before graduation.
Walker told his teammates he wanted to go out as a champion in the locker room before the state Federation Class AA championship game against Long Island Lutheran Saturday in Albany, but he saw that dream falling apart as the Royals were trailing the Crusaders by as much as 14 points in the first half.
Then Walker stepped up.
The senior, who has taken a backseat in the scoring category all season, was almost perfect. He notched a game-high 25 points, including 3-for-3 from behind the three-point arc, to defeat Lutheran 58-52 and give Christ the King back-to-back state titles. Walker was named the tournament MVP.
“Somebody needed to step up and he wanted to do it,” junior forward Travis Atson said. “This was going to be his last game before he left high school, and he really didn’t want to go out with a loss.”
In last year’s state title game, guard Rawle Alkins and former Royal Jon Severe, torched Lutheran. So this year the Crusaders prepared for the Royals’ star players. Alkins had just nine points and Atson had only eight.
But this opened up space for other players on the team to shine, and the seniors, Walker, Adonis Delarosa and Bryler Paige, had the necessary motivation. Paige finished with 10 points and Delarosa added six points and 13 rebounds.
Walker attacked aggressively in the third quarter, where he made 13 of his 25 points, proving that he could score if he needed.
“[Fans] only recognize points, but they don’t see what we do,” Walker said. “We can score too, but it’s not our roles on the team.”
Still undecided on where he will continue to play basketball and his education next year, Walker is just happy that he’ll leave Christ the King with winning dynasty intact.
“It feels good,” Walker said. “Only a select few can say they won two state championships, back-to-back.”
Calhoun is the seventh player from Christ the King to be given the honor, which has recognized athletes for their abilities on the court, academic achievements and character demonstrated outside of sports since 1985.
Calhoun led the Royals to a 21-4 record, averaging 24 points, 9.3 rebounds and four steals per game. Although the Royals were strong, Christ the King lost to Nazareth High School in a CHSAA semifinal.
A First Team All-American selection by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Calhoun was also chosen to play in the prestigious McDonald’s High School All-American Game and is a two-time First Team All-State honoree. Calhoun volunteers to assist local special needs students at an elementary school and coaches youth basketball players.
With the honor, Calhoun is now a candidate for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.
It was only two weeks ago that the Christ the King boys’ basketball team lost the Brooklyn/ Queens Conference championship game against Bishop Loughlin by nearly 20 points.
But with a renewed focus, the Royals dominated their rivals in a rematch in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional championship game Sunday to come up with a 72-61 victory at Fordham University.
“We were the underdogs coming into the game,” junior forward Travis Atson said. “People didn’t think we would win, but we surprised a lot of people.”
With the win, the Royals continued their era of dominance, becoming back-to-back city champs. Christ the King has also won four city championships in the last five years.
But in previous games recently, Loughlin posed a major threat.
The Lions defeated the Royals in two of their three meetings this season. So to win the city title, Christ the King shifted their focus to tougher defense.
“We didn’t allow any transitions,” Atson said. “We made sure everybody got back and stopped the ball.”
With about four minutes left, the Royals used a 17-3 run ignited by stifling defense to outpace Loughlin.
Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins led Christ the King with 24 points, and Atson, who had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, was named the tournament MVP.
Atson also played tough defense, holding Loughlin senior guard Javian Delacruz to only eight points.
“Take away his offense, just the eight points that he held Javian Delacruz to, if you’ve done that, then you’ve done your job. I think that’s why he was named the tournament MVP,” Royals coach Joe Arbitello said.
The Royals will play PSAL champion Benjamin Cardozo in a Class AA state Federation semifinal on March 21 at the Times Union Center in Albany.
For the past few years the Loughlin Lions have dropped the final game against their conference rivals. But the Lions, led by senior Khadeen Carrington, were in firm control of the game, powered by revenge.
Carrington, the CSHAA’s Most Valuable Player, scored 42 points in the 90-71 win over Christ the King Royals for the championship. Loughlin senior guard Michael Williams, a Rutgers commit, added 19 points and eight rebounds in the rout.
“We played like we had nothing to lose tonight,” Carrington said. “We played with a chip on our shoulder and we got the W.”
Towards the end of the first half, the Royals made an effort to catch up. Junior forward Travis Atson, who finished with 22 points, knocked down consecutive threes to make the score 43-33.
But Loughlin responded with two threes as well, including a buzzer beater by Darius James at halftime, extending the lead to 49-33 going into the locker room.
The second half was more of the same as the teams traded shots. The Royals weren’t making defensive stops and couldn’t catch up.
Carrington, a Seton Hall commit, may have put an end to Royal’s dreams of a comeback. With just 2:54 remaining in the game he stole the ball and slammed a powerful two-handed dunk, giving Loughlin a 82-59 advantage.
“The bottom line is [Loughlin] played like they were supposed to,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said. “They played like seven seniors that wanted to win the Brooklyn/ Queens Championship.”
The season isn’t completely over for the Royals. Now the team will head to the citywide tournament match ups, and Arbitello promised the team will pick their heads up for the next round.
“We’re Christ the King, we’re not sinking the ship here,” Arbitello said. “They are going to get our best effort the next time.”
The Royals had lost the first match-up against their Brooklyn/Queens AA conference rivals in a close 76-74 game, but Alkins knew the outcome would be different.
“I just felt confident,” Alkins said. “If you look at their team and you look at our team, we have so many mismatches it’s not even funny.”
Alkins prediction came through as the Christ the King Royals dominated the second half, led by senior big man Adonis Delarosa, who had 23 points and 13 rebounds, leading the Royals to a 67-49 blowout of the Loughlin Lions. Alkins added 12 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks, and junior forward Travis Atson had 21 points and 11 rebounds to the win.
With the win, Christ the King improved to 18-5 overall (14-3 in conference) taking over the lead from Loughlin, 18-5 overall (13-3 in conference), and secured at least a tie for the regular season title.
The difference in this game was Delarosa, who scored just three points in the first half, but suddenly came alive in the second half.
Being mismatched against smaller sized and less athletic opponents, the nearly 7-foot 265-pound center took advantage of his size to score and get to the foul line, where he shot 11 of 14.
“I just knew they couldn’t guard me,” Delarosa said.
His abilities were fully shown when, with just 1:03 remaining, he wrapped around a defender and slammed a two-handed dunk, causing the crowd to explode as the score became 63-44.
Then the big man sprinted back on defense to swat a layup. Although the block was called goal tending, it sent the crowd into louder cheers of “CK, CK, CK.”
Delarosa’s performance was even more meaningful as he had just come of a two-game suspension for committing a flagrant foul in the previous Loughlin game.
Because he couldn’t play, he had to watch his teammates lose to Archbishop Molloy in their last game, 71-68 in overtime.
“I knew if I was on the court, I would have made a difference,” Delarosa said. “It really hurts watching my guys play from the sidelines.”
The next game for Christ the King will be against Brooklyn Law Tech on Feb. 12.
Christ the King High School has been doing well financially in recent years and now teachers will see some of that success in their paychecks.
The school announced a pay raise for faculty members with a new two-year contract. School administrators and the Lay Faculty Association, which represents the faculty, came to the agreement, and made the announcement Monday.
“As a result of good faith negotiations, we have come to an agreement where faculty members will have an increase in salary, all the while maintaining a level tuition for students for the next three years,” said Serphin Maltese, the school’s board of trustees chair.
In November, The Diocese of Brooklyn filed a lawsuit against Christ the King to regain control of the school, because the institution has used its buildings for more than just a Catholic high school. The Diocese said that this violates a long-standing contract, but Christ the King said that agreement is void.
In the last three years the school has made about $3.7 million from these measures, according to Thomas Ognibene, the school’s lawyer. That money has gone to making repairs and underwriting tuition for students.
Travis Atson is a junior forward on the Christ the King high school basketball team. Standing at 6’5 he is one of the team’s big men. As the reigning state champions, Atson is a part of a team which hopes to defend their title. Atson averages a double-double and has scored an average of nearly 20 points and 12 rebounds per game in the five games as of December 29. On top of his athletic prowess, Atson is maintaining an 85 percent academic average and participates in various community service activities, such as blood drives and volunteering to teach basketball to younger children.
Why did you start playing basketball?
“I started when I was about six-years-old. My mom’s friend was babysitting me and she brought me to a game, and I said I want to play. My first game I scored 16 points.”
What colleges are you thinking about attending next year?
“The main thing is to get a free scholarship to school. I haven’t thought about college yet. But I have received interest from Boston University, Hofstra, VCU and Georgetown.”
What kind of community service do you do?
“With my school with do a lot of community service. We just did a blood drive.”
What do you like to do besides basketball?
“In school I take a hip hop dance class. We performed in front of the whole school. It gets my footwork and coordination better.”
What would you do if you couldn’t be a pro-basketball player?
“Actually, I would want to be a teacher and I would want to be a basketball coach for my school [Christ the King]. First, because they get to play sports all day and I just love being around kids and having fun.”
The Royals completed a dominant victory over All Hallows High School, 58-27, for their season home opener Sunday.
Royals’ sophomore Rawle Alkins and Travis Atson led the team with a double-double each. Alkins had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Atson scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“We were focused. We were ready to play before the game,” Alkins said. “We weren’t joking around in the locker room or nothing. We wanted to win really badly.”
The victory marks the third consecutive double-digit win for the Royals (3-0) in as many games to start the season.
Punishing defense coupled with an overwhelming offensive fueled the Royals, who are the reigning state basketball champions. By halftime the Royals lead 35-16. They continued attacking in the third quarter with a 9-0 run to inflate the lead to 46-16, before All Hallows (0-5) finally made their first basket in the second half.
By the end of the third quarter Royals head coach Joe Arbitello pulled his starters from the floor.
All Hallows was able to score a few more baskets in the fourth quarter while Christ the King starters were out of the game, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Despite the string big victories, Arbitello said they aren’t trying to blow teams out.
“We’re not really trying to show that we are dominant,” Arbitello said. “The one thing we are trying to focus on now is getting better every game. We want to play at the level that Christ the King has come accustomed to.”
The next game for the Royals will be on Friday, December 20 against Cardinal Hayes.
Alumni and parents of current Christ the King High School (CK) students are blasting the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn after it filed a lawsuit against the institution last week.
The Diocese is suing the school to force the Board of Trustees to reaffirm an agreement that says the institution must remain a Catholic high school or relinquish control, which is a long-standing promise between the two parties.
However, people are seeing the move by the Catholic organization as a money grab and are afraid the Diocese might try to close the school.
“I was upset by it,” said Janet LaCava, a Christ the King alumna. “I think that CK has worked hard to make it a self-sustaining entity, and with so many schools closing, to possibly cause an excellent school to close when it is doing so well, does not make sense to me.”
In the mid-1970s CK was on the verge on closing due to financial problems, according to numerous sources close to the school. At that time the Diocese transferred control of the school to the Board, under the request that the school stay a Catholic high school. The members of the board, which were made up of parents, eventually returned the school from financial strains.
Presently, the Board has found a way to generate cash by opening up continuing education classes such as dance and Spanish, a day care and a preschool. Additionally, this year they started renting space to a public charter school, Middle School Preparatory. In the last three years the school, which costs about $9-10 million yearly to operate, has made about $3.7 million from these measures, according to Thomas Ognibene, the school’s lawyer.
That money has gone to making repairs and underwriting tuition for CK students.
The Diocese has said that it requires schools that have opened Charter schools donate 40 percent of rent revenue to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust, which helps disadvantaged students afford a Catholic elementary school education, and that CK has not complied. But Ognibene said that in July the Board agreed with the Diocese to a plan to pay more than $1.7 million over the next five years, which includes the 40 percent of rent revenue from the charter school.
Ognibene fears that the Diocese is planning to reacquire the school and close it.
“This is a very shallow plan by the Diocese,” he said. “There is no question in our minds that they want to close the school. They are clearly going out of the business of Catholic education.”
“We have said a 100 times that we have no intention to close the school,” said Marty McLaughlin, a spokesperson for the Diocese. “We love this school. Our question is what has been going on over there?”
Christ the King has until November 24 to reply to the lawsuit.
A two-year crusade between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Christ the King High School is heading to the courts.
The Diocese filed a lawsuit against Christ the King to force the school’s Board of Trustees to renew a written agreement to stay committed to providing Catholic high school education or relinquish control of the institution.
“It is sad that we have to go to these extraordinary lengths to have our rights reaffirmed by the court,” said Monsignor Steven Aggugia, judicial vicar of the Diocese. “But it’s time for the Diocese to get a full accounting from the Christ the King Board of what has transpired over the years.”
In the 1970s the Diocese transferred control of the six high schools it owns in Brooklyn and Queens, including Christ the King, to non-profits, under condition that they run the institutions as Catholic, according to court papers.
This agreement must be reexamined and for the past two years, the Diocese has been trying to get the Board to reaffirm this agreement, to no avail.
This year Christ the King began renting space to a public charter school, Middle Village Preparatory Charter School, and the Board has also been operating various enterprises on the campus, including a day care center, online courses and continuing education courses in Spanish, drama, dance and karate.
In addition to getting the Board to reaffirm the commitment, the Diocese is asking Christ the King to turn over all leases for the various businesses that the property has been used for over the years.
“I think they are monetizing an asset and not accounting to us,” said Marty McLaughlin, spokesperson for the Diocese. “They are monetizing an asset that doesn’t belong to them. What [the Diocese] wants is a full account of what is going on there.”
Board members believe that the Diocese wants control of Christ the King because of the school’s amazing record over nearly four decades since transferring to Board rule. Thomas Ognibene, a former city council member and lawyer for Christ the King, said that the agreement in question was supposed to be in place for 30 years and the Diocese had until 2006 to reaffirm it.
“We’ve poured our life blood into that school and they’re looking to shut it down,” Ognibene said.
The Diocese also said Christ the King is the only school that doesn’t follow a rule to donate 40 percent of revenue from charter schools to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust, which gives scholarships to “disadvantaged” children for Catholic elementary schools. However, the Board has said they have complied since July.
The Diocese said that they have no plans to close Christ the King or the charter school.
Different organizations from around the borough joined together on Saturday, May 11 at Christ the King High School to share their initiatives with intrigued attendees. The American Cancer Society set up shop and detailed its Relay for Life event, and representatives from groups such as the Juniper Park Civic Association and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce were present. Reps from different banks such as CitiBank and Astoria Federal Savings Bank as well as insurance groups such as New York Life were also there to share information with anyone interested. The event brought the community together to explore many different areas, from physical therapy to photography studios.
David Lopez wants one particular job when he graduates college this spring: playing in the National Football League.
“I like the aggression of the game,” he said. “I love the game. I was never afraid to hit, it’s fun.”
Lopez, of South Ozone Park, has been working on getting himself drafted, or signed, after finishing up his collegiate career as a safety for Pace University. Because the school does not have a draft day for professional scouts, Lopez has faced an uphill run to the endzone.
He came to Pace after playing running back at Christ the King High School, a team that made it to its league’s championship during his final year. When Lopez, now 22, arrived at Pace, however, he was the young guy on a team of seasoned veterans. In order to gain some experience and retrain for a new position, Lopez opted to red-shirt his freshman year — essentially benching himself.
“The first year I was completely clueless to the schemes,” Lopez said of adjusting to college gridiron life. “I learned from the older guys. The older guys taught me a lot.”
Lopez was ready to go the following year and said it was astounding to take the field for the first time. Although Pace lost its first game, Lopez found his groove and took off.
“Two plays in I got a big hit and it was all smooth from there,” Lopez said.
Tragedy struck the team during Lopez’s tenure, however, and soon after he was forced into a leadership position.
In late 2010, Lopez’s teammate, D.J. Henry, was shot by police in Westchester as he drove away from an altercation outside a bar. As a result, some players were deemed ineligible to play, and others decided to transfer out.
“It took a lot out of us as a team,” he said. “The last two years at Pace, I was one of the older guys with a bunch of 17- and 18-year-old kids.”
Suddenly Lopez, intimidated by the veterans two years earlier, found himself propelled into a leadership role. As a captain who still felt like he was 18, Lopez was now mentoring new players both on and off the field.
Ideally, Lopez says he’d like to play safety for his favorite team, the New York Jets, but getting into the league is his top priority right now. To get himself into big-league shape, he’s been training with former Miami Dolphin and Christ the King alum Willie Poole and teammates from Pace.
One fundamental he’s taken from his mentors is that he is gunning for a job that hundreds, if not thousands, of others are vying for throughout the country. His next step is to make it to a pro-day either at Fordham University or Stony Brook University. The challenge there, Lopez said, is getting the schools to allow him to try out, as players from the home school would obviously get preference.
Under Poole’s leadership, Lopez has learned a new physical and mental aspect to football:
“He’s turned it up a notch on us, but it pays off,” Lopez said of Poole’s training. “He pushes us to stay perfect.”
Poole, who’s trained Lopez for a little more than a month now, said his protégé is conscious of the struggle he faces coming from such a small school. Despite this, Poole said Lopez is a true football player with strong skills and even stronger determination.
“I can honestly say that I really, truly believe that he is a better talent than the school he went to,” Poole said. “He works tremendously hard…he wants to get better.
“The bottom line is the kid can play football,” he added. “This kid is a football player.”