Heslop Signs with Seahawks

Gavin Heslop signed an undrafted rookie free-agent contact with the Seattle Seahawks just moments after the completion of the 2020 NFL Draft on Saturday.

The Archbishop Stepinac High School graduate and Yonkers native was a senior captain and defensive back at Stony Brook in 2019.

“This is a dream come true for me,” Heslop said in a press release from Stony Brook. “All of the hard work over the past five years at Stony Brook has paid off. I could not be more excited for this opportunity.”

As a redshirt senior in 2019, Heslop finished with 52 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two blocked kicks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in earning third-team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors. He returned one fumble for a touchdown.

Heslop started 37 consecutive games and collected 138 total tackles in his collegiate career.


NYSPHSAA Cancels Spring Tourneys

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Monday it has cancelled its spring state championship tournaments due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The NYSPHSAA has spring state championships for baseball, softball, boys and girls track, boys and girls golf, boys and girls lacrosse and boys tennis.

“Unfortunately, with the continued impact of the COVID-19 crisis, hosting the spring 2020 state championships is no longer feasible (time factor, facility and venue availability, etc.)” said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA’s President, in a press release. “Canceling the remaining winter state championships in late March was challenging and the cancelation of our spring state championships today is equally disappointing.”

The regular season for spring sports remains on hold for nine of the 11 sections in the NYSPHSAA. Section Eight (Nassau County) and Section 11 (Suffolk County) announced the cancellation of spring sports on April 21.

19 Earn All-State Honors

Nineteen boys basketball players from Catholic high schools in the archdiocese received all-state honors from the New York State Sportswriters Association.

Senior R.J. Davis led the honorees by being named Class AA co-player of the year after averaging 26.5 points per game for Archbishop Stepinac. He’s signed to play at the University of North Carolina next season.

Here are the other honorees with name, school, height, year in school and points per game:


First team: Luis Kortright, St. Raymond, 6-3, Sr., 20.1. Second team: Julien Soumacro, Cardinal Hayes, 5-10, Sr., 10.2. Third team: Liam Murphy, St. Peter’s, 6-7, Sr., 26.9; Malachi Smith, St. Raymond, 6-0, Jr., 19.2. Fourth team: Adrian Griffin, Jr., Archbishop Stepinac, 6-7, Jr., 17.3; Koby Brea, Msgr. Scanlan, 6-6, Sr., 19.0. Seventh team Shemani Fuller, Cardinal Hayes, 6-7, Sr., 18.1. Eighth team: Ibrahim Wattara, Mount St. Michael, 6-5, Sr., 16.7. Ninth team: Malcolm Chimezie, Stepinac, 6-8, Jr., 10.7; Joseph Munden, Msgr. Scanlan, 6-4, Sr., 16.3.11th team: Keeshawn Jones, Iona Prep, 6-2, Sr., 15.1. 13th team: Tyler Hawkins, Mount St. Michael, 5-9, Soph., 17.1.


Third team: Justin Zieris, Msgr. Farrell, 6-0, Jr., 20.2. Sixth team: Jarron Joseph, Albertus Magnus, 6-0, Sr., 20.2. 10th team: Blair Thompson, Xavier, 6-6, Jr., 19.1. 14th team: Ryan McPartian, Fordham Prep, 6-3, Jr., 15.9.


Fifth team: Joe Manfredi, Regis, 6-4, Sr., 22.6; Camar Neil, Salesian, 6-4, Jr., 16.9. 13th team: Brayson Reyes, Salesian, 6-5, Sr., 13.0.




Pitino Names Staff, Signs 8 Recruits

It’s been a busy first month for Iona College men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino.

Pitino, who was named head coach in March, named three coaches and a director of basketball operations to his staff, and announced the signing of eight players for the 2020-2021 season.

Tom Abatemarco, Casey Stanley and Ricky Johns were appointed to the coaching staff and all three are no strangers to the program. Abatemarco coached at Iona under Jim Valvano, and later was an assistant for Valvano’s 1983 national championship team at North Carolina State. Johns served at Iona the past three seasons under men’s basketball head coach Tim Cluess.

Stanley, an Iona graduate, grew up around Iona as the son of former longtime Iona radio play-by-play announcer Gary Stanley. The younger Stanley served on Pitino’s staff at Louisville and on the staff of Pitino’s son, Richard, at Florida International and Minnesota.

“The most important part for me was finding diversity in age and experience,” Pitino said in a press release from the college. “All three coaches also have ties to Iona College and are very experienced recruiters, which I also sought out in putting together this staff.”

Pitino also named Joey Kuhl as the program’s director of basketball operations and announced the signing of eight players for next season, including Ryan Myers of Christ the King High School.

Myers averaged 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for Christ the King in 2019-2020. As a junior, he averaged 16.3 points per game and earned most valuable player for leading the Royals to the CHSAA AA state championship.

Myers is joined in the 2019-2020 recruiting class by Darreus Brown, Robert Brown and Tahlik Chavez, all of Texas; Berrick JeanLouis and Osborn Shema, both of Florida; Johan Crafoord of Sweden; and Nelly Junior Joseph of Nigeria.


CYO Basketball Camp in Goshen

Orange County CYO is hosting boys and girls basketball camps this summer at John S. Burke High School in Goshen.

The boys camp is scheduled for June 29-July 2, and the girls camp follows July 6-9.

The camp, which is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, is for children entering grades 4 through 8. Registration is $95 per child.

Click here to learn more and to register.


Dr. Fauci: Regis Basketball Captain

You may be hearing the name or seeing Dr. Anthony Fauci quite frequently these days.

Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is on the nation’s task force for the coronavirus pandemic.

Did you know Dr. Fauci was once the captain of the Regis High School boys basketball team in Manhattan? Dr. Fauci, who grew up in Brooklyn, is a 1958 graduate of the school.

Dr. Fauci visited Regis in 2019.

Click here to read his story.

Griffin Off to Syracuse

Archbishop Stepinac High School graduate Alan Griffin announced over the weekend that he will transfer to Syracuse University to play basketball for the 2020-2021 season.

Griffin averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the University of Illinois, which was ranked 21st in the final Associated Press poll for 2019-2020 season.

Griffin will have two years of eligibility remaining at Syracuse. It’s uncertain whether he’ll play in 2020-2021 or if he’ll be required to sit out a season in accordance with NCAA rules.

A story recapping Griffin’s season and three other basketball players from the archdiocese will be published in this week’s Catholic New York.


Davis Nets Another Honor

Archbishop Stepinac High School’s R.J. Davis was named Gatorade New York State Boys Basketball Player of the Year just days after being selected Mr, New York State Basketball by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York.

Davis led Stepinac to the archdiocesan championship and an 18-9 record by averaging 26.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He shot 51 percent from inside the three-point arc, 34 percent from beyond the arc and 87 percent from the free-throw line.

Davis, who will play at the University of North Carolina, was selected to play in the 43rd McDonald’s All-American game in Houston. The game was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis (COVID-19).