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Former LIC, Edison coach feted upstate

GLENS FALLS — Of all his attributes, Floyd Bank jokes his greatest is the ability to “sleep on a dime.” Wherever and whenever, he can catch 20 winks.

But when the winningest coach in PSAL history learned he would be inducted into the New York State Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame a few months ago, he often found himself waking up in the middle of the night remembering some of the players and games in his 35 years of coaching at Long Island City and Edison high schools.

Bank also thought about being in a prestigious group of previous inductees, including former St. John’s coaches Lou Carnesseca and Joe Lapchick, former Knicks coach Red Holzman as well as current Molloy coach Jack Curran.

Also on the list is C.W. Post head coach Tom Galeazzi, who was inducted as part of the Class of 1996. Bank just finished his first season as assistant coach of the Pioneers.

“It’s just mind boggling,” Bank said. “Obviously, it’s a tremendous honor.”

Saturday at Heritage Hall at the Glens Falls Civic Center, Bank was one of 15 coaches to be inducted in the Hall’s Class of 2002.

Also honored was longtime Riverdale Country Day School coach Bob Clark, who has 578 wins in 39 years, and Bill Van Gundy, father of former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, who won more than 600 games in his 42-year coaching career, including a 305-142 mark at Genesee Community College.

But Bank, who was also an assistant coach at his alma mater, New York University, and a head coach at Queens College, didn’t think about any of the 550 wins at Long Island City and Edison. Instead Bank recalled some of the tough losses.

“I remember losing a playoff game to a great Andrew Jackson team [now Campus Magnet] that had three Division I players and I’m starting a sophomore at center. We played them tough, but we lost in overtime.”

Bank, who owns and runs Wolfie’s Deli and Restaurant in Merrick with his wife of nearly 50 years, Barbara, also remembered many of the people who normally go overlooked during a basketball season.

“One of the key people in a successful basketball program is the custodian. They make sure the floor and the backboards were clean,” Bank said. “And the kids who served as team managers. They kept score and ran the clock, they were invaluable.”

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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