Basketball Wall Street: “An Educational and Informative look, into NYC Women’s Basketball”
The rich history and fabric of New York City basketball is distinguished and well documented on the men’s side of basketball. However, on the women’s side of things there seem to be a foggy, cloudy picture of the past. There were many female basketball players from New York City that played the game at a very high level. Some were celebrated, while others flew under the radar before the social media era and the proliferation of women’s grassroots basketball and youth sports on a whole.
Lawanda Greene | Adlai Stevenson High School (Bronx, N.Y.) The NYC Public School Athletic League star was a dynamic guard prospect that went on to play at Ohio State. Greene averaged 38-PPG and was knocked out of the playoffs two years in a row by PSAL juggernaut August Martin. Greene is still active in the NYC basketball community.
Pietra Gay | John Jay High School (NY) highly skilled, and tough as nails. Gay is of Trinidadian, Caribbean decent, but was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. She starred for the Park Slope area high school and in Baton Rouge at LSU. Then on to the WNBA, winning a Championship with the Houston Comets. Gay, played travel ball for coach Walter Welsh.
Chinyere Vann | Poly Prep Country Day (NY) Vann was ahead of her time in terms of playing basketball at a high level, and crossing over into the mainstream media. The Brooklyn native was a model at the distinguished Ford Agency, featured by Nike is ads, and was a stellar student-athlete at the academically rigorous Poly Prep Day School in Brooklyn N.Y. Vann is a Fordham University grad, and is currently working as an associate director for CBS Sports.
Neisha Butler | Riverdale Country School (NY) Butler was an electric guard prospect with an advanced offensive game. She scored 3,127 points at Riverdale Country School in The Bronx, then accepted a scholarship to attend Georgia Tech University. As a gifted basketball player with striking good-looks, everyone began to take notice. Including Gina Prince-Blythwood, the writer and director of the movie “Love&Basketball”. Butler was strongly considered for the role of Monica Wright, to co-star alongside Omar Epps. The final cut came down to Sanaa Lathan and Butler for the lead role. Like Chinyere Vann, Butler was ahead of her time. Landing jobs as a model, appearing in movies by Spike Lee, and commercials by Nike and Lebron James. She is now working as a Television and Radio Sports Analyst for CBS Radio, TMZ, and ScrapSports.com respectively.
Clare Droesch| Christ The King (NY) Droesch, amassed too many laurels to mention but she is classified as what real basketball connoisseurs would describe as a “dog”. Which is not meant in a derogatory way, but to signify a player that is highly skilled and possess the killer instinct to destroy their opponent. Droesch, finished her CK career with a four year record of 106-10. The Rockaway Beach N.Y. native recently succumbed to cancer, but her great legacy will live on forever. “I had a chance to meet and know of Clare through a close friend, when she was a varsity and JV coach at Christ The King, alongside former Howard University star Asia Petty. She is, one of the best female basketball players to come out of New York City, and she is high up on the list.”-Silverio Ford “When I coached against Clare, and I saw her on the lay-up line. I would say to myself, aw shit. Because I knew, I was in for a great game and a dog fight.” -Walter Welsh
Renneika Razor | Cardinal Spellman (NY) Razor was an athletic, shifty guard that played the game bigger than her size. She is also a great finisher and a jet with the basketball in her hands. Razor, was coached by the venerable Jane Morris. Then went on to play college basketball at The University of Maryland for longtime head coach Chris Weller, before the Brenda Frese era.
Diana Braendly | St Joseph By The Sea (NY) The 6-foot-4 post player from Staten Island, was a mobile, skilled, hardworking prospect. Subsequently, Braendly accepted a scholarship offer to Notre Dame.
Corin Adams | James Madison High School (NY) Nicknamed “Tiny” and “Key Food”, after the Brooklyn founded inner-city supermarket. Adams was elusive off the dribble and a crafty scorer. Underrated coming out of NYC, she committed to Morgan State but was a Big East player at less. At Morgan State, Adams scored more than 2,000 points in her four year career in Baltimore, Md., then went on to a long career as a professional player overseas. James Madison H.S. Alumni: Bernie Sanders (Senator) ; Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Judge); Chuck Schumer (Senator); Judith Shiendlin (Judge Judy).
Margaret McKeon | Christ The King H.S. (NY) McKeon, is a legend, and a pioneer as one of the first standout players in the Christ The King legacy of women’s basketball. McKeon, Starred at the Middle Village N.Y. school early in Vincent Cannizzaro’s legendary coaching career. She then went on to become an All Big East player at St John’s University, setting a single-game assist record with 18 in a game against Georgetown University.
Camille Murphy & Ameerah Aiken | Syracuse Corcoran H.S (NY) While Murphy and Aiken are from upstate New York, this dynamic duo was a devastating combination. Falling 70-62 in the State Federation Championship, to a Christ The King squad lead by Sue Bird. Murphy went on to play for The University of Georgia, and Aiken stayed home and accepted a scholarship to play for Syracuse University.
New York High School Basketball Coaches of Note:
Vincent Cannizzaro | Christ The King
Brian Giorgis | Our Lady of Lourdes
Joel Ascher | August Martin
Bod Daggett | St Peters
Ed Grezinsky | Murray Bergtraum
Bob Mackey | Christ The King
Apache Pascall | St Michaels Academy | Nazareth Regional
Jim Marsh | Syracuse Corcoran
Tony D’Angelo | Academy of Mount St Ursula
Jane Morris | Cardinal Spellman
Beth Wooters | The Ursuline School
Ted Oberg | St John The Baptist
Mike Eisenberg | Francis Lewis