Photo by Lem Peterkin|Photo by Lem Peterkin

It’s nothing new for Boys & Girls High School to come into Madison Square Garden and compete for a New York City Public Schools Athletic League basketball championship. Some of the boys are very familiar with the facilities and the coaches are, also. And for some of the players it is a steppingstone in the right direction.

For one of the assistant coaches, Madison Square Garden is nothing new for him, for he has been around for a long time, both on the high school and college levels.

He is Gene Carroll, a veteran of coaching, as he at one time became head coach at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He held the coaching position there for 28 years.

However, for now it is the developing of the high school players so that they can reach the next level.

“It (coaching Boys & Girls at Madison Square Garden) is back home for me, for I was here in 1973 with (head coach) Frank Mickens (at Boys High),” said Carroll after his Kangaroos of Boys & Girls defeated Thomas Jefferson, 71-67 for the title. “And we won in ’79.”

He came back to the present Boys & Girls school after his tenure at a community college.

He was so glad to return to the high school level where he helped to develop some real great basketball players.

“It’s a great job to coach this team when you got an engineer and a head coach like (a female) Ruth Lovelace,” Carroll said. “She embraces your knowledge of the game along with hers and it makes a championship. We put everything together and it’s a win situation.”

In the game last Saturday the Kangaroos were led in scoring by Rashad Andrews, who scored 26 points from the backcourt position and by forward Leroy Fludd, who tallied 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Jaquan Lynch scored 18 points for Jefferson.

“We three peated (won three straight titles),” summed up Carroll.

The Kangaroos, especially the nine seniors, along with the underclassmen, worked hard for this title.

“We all looked good playing on the Garden floor, and for the win,” said Fludd. “This is the most famous arena and we were given the opportunity to play here (at the Garden).”

And it is big for the team, including the players, coaches, and staff at the school, to win three titles during the same number of years, as no school has ever done it before.

“We are honored and felt great for our championship,” added Lovelace. “It was difficult ( at the start of the season) to bring new players in (and they jelled together very well). The guys stepped up and made plays (in the win over Jefferson). And I did the job successfully.”

Senior Leroy Fludd,(1), of Boys & Girls High School readies for his shot.
Photo by Lem Peterkin