Thursday, March 6, 2014

New York to Jones County to NBA?

The New York Times published a very entertaining story on three yewts who found their way to playing basketball for Jones Junior College after growing up in Brooklyn. Going from Brooklyn to Catfish Friday's in Jones County.  Read on.

It was quite a moment, especially considering that three of Ladner’s top players — Leroy Fludd, Bryce Jones and Thaddeus Hall — had never heard of Pearl River Community College until last summer. Or even Jones County, for that matter, which was understandable: All three are from Brooklyn.

“This,” Fludd said, “is the last place I thought I’d be at.”

They arrived here as freshmen in the fall, their mutual struggles with academics leaving them little choice but to delay their dreams of playing Division I basketball. At Jones County, they have excelled. The Bobcats are 20-5 ahead of their game Thursday against Southwest Mississippi Community College in the first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region 23 tournament in Clinton, Miss.

They are a team of outliers. No other program in Jones County’s 15-team conference — the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges — has even one player from New York, let alone three, though that could change. Ladner said he had heard from other coaches who were suddenly curious about how these young men wound up in Ellisville, of all places.

“I think people are starting to realize that, gosh, there are certainly more than three of these guys up there in New York,” he said. “We’ll go grab some of our own.”

Each team in the conference is allowed only three non-Mississippi players on its roster. Fludd, a rugged forward who goes by the nickname Truck, and Jones, the starting point guard, were teammates at Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where they helped the team to a state championship as seniors. Hall, a swingman from Coney Island, was a standout at Thomas Jefferson High School in East New York, Brooklyn. They have known one another for years....

“Back home, there’s so much noise,” said Vazquez, who is sitting out the season because he enrolled in January. “Here, there’s a whole bunch of nothing going on.”

He meant that in a good way. The pace of life can be languid. Ellisville (population: 4,448) has a laser tag establishment, whose importance to the players is difficult to overstate. Weekends often entail the 22-mile drive to Hattiesburg, which has a movie theater and several chain restaurants that the players frequent. They also hang with friends who play at Southern Mississippi.

Beyond that, though, there is little to distract them from basketball and schoolwork. Fludd considers Catfish Friday at the dining hall to be one of the highlights of his week..

Ladner typically speaks once or twice a week at civic clubs in nearby towns like Waynesboro and Laurel, and he said audience members were peppering him with the same question at the start of the season: What was the story with these kids from New York? Ladner quickly made it a habit to try to bring at least one of them along whenever he has an engagement.

“I guess I’m there,” Ladner said, “but everyone would rather talk to the players.”

Often, people simply want to know how they are getting along. Are they liking school? Are they enjoying themselves? Do they feel at home?

“I tell my guys, ‘As long as you treat people nicely, they will bend over backward to make your stay here warmer,’ ” Ladner said. “You can have the greatest two years of your life here.”....Rest of the article

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my apologies, KF, for putting this comment here. Wanted to give a heads up to the JJ world.

The free shred it day is today but something is different this year. In the past, the Shred-It truck would take your bag of stuff and it goes straight into the shredder. Today, its a different company up there. They open your bags and put the stuff in a trashcan that goes into the truck. I wasn't too keen on folks going thru my stuff. They were looking for plastic because that can't go thru their machine. Understand. But it gives you a creepy feeling when you're trying to destroy sensitive material and the guy is standing there going thru it.

Just a heads up if you participate today.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS