Magnet’s Granby sets all-time PSAL win record

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A meaningless game played in a cold, empty gym hardly serves as an appropriate background for a historic event, but then again Campus Magnet basketball coach Chuck Granby is never one to seek out attention.

So it was only natural when Campus Magnet defeated Flushing, 68-53, Sunday at Elmcor in the 21st annual Martin Luther King Classic, that the 34-year head coach simply walked off the floor after becoming the all-time winningest coach in PSAL basketball history.

There were no accolades, no announcements on the public address system — not that any were needed for the crowd of 25. Granby treated his 551st career win like any other.

“I thought you’d see a little more out of him,” said Campus Magnet senior Clark Francois. “But he shows no emotion at all.”

After surpassing former Long Island City and Thomas Edison coach Floyd Bank, the raspy-voiced Granby deflected much of the praise away from his abilities as a coach and credited the hundreds who played for him over the years.

“It simply means I’ve had some players. That’s the main thing because you don’t get that type of situation without having players,” he said. “I’ve had some players and I’ve always had principals who were very supportive of the program while I’ve been with the school. That means a lot.”

And what a group of players he had.

In the mid 1980s, Andrew Jackson, as it was known then, was one of the top teams in the city with standouts such as Greg “Boo” Harvey, who went on to star at St. John’s, Ron Edwards, Dave Edwards, George Allen and Eddie Harris.

In 1985 the Hickories defeated Camden on the road — which was unheard of then — and won the PSAL title in 1985.

“It’s hard to keep up with his history,” said junior forward Carlos Cadet. “Everybody expects you to win games. We’re a young team and we want to win, but everyone wants to jump on us because of the name. We’re a target.”

While Granby says he still loves coaching, it has become more challenging now because he says the players aren’t as skillful as they were almost two decades ago.

“The kids I had before, they would come to practice and never wanted to stop practicing. There’s such a difference in the kids today,” he said. “They don’t know basic fundamentals, there is no junior high school basketball, there are no night centers, after-school centers where they learn the fundamentals.”

“When I had tryouts before, I’d have like 300, 400 kids who knew how to do a three-man weave,” he added. “You tell these kids now at tryouts to try and do a three-man weave on a JV, they’re liable to hit each other with the ball.”

Bank retired after 35 years of high school coaching and is an assistant coach at C.W. Post. But with much of his young team returning next year, Granby is not yet thinking of calling it quits.

“Sometimes it is minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day depending on the situation,” Granby said of the prospects of retiring. “These kids here are good kids, but sometimes they get so silly about things.”

“He always teaches us hard work pays off. I feel bad he didn’t have the season that he’s used to, but he never gave up on us,” said Magnet senior point guard Devon Irby. “It feels good [to win], but we did it more for him than ourselves. We didn’t want to let him down today.”

After failing to deliver the record-breaking win against Queens III-A rivals Beach Channel and John Adams, Campus Magnet (8-12) jumped all over Flushing from the opening tap.

The Red Devils couldn’t handle the Bulldogs’ halfcourt press as Magnet raced out to a 21-9 lead after the first quarter.

Flushing (10-12) rallied to get within 31-26 when Roberto Lopez’s layup capped a 14-2 at the end of the first half, but Magnet regained its focus at the start of the third quarter.

Led by Cadet inside and Brevitt’s quick hands and feet, the Bulldogs scored 11 of the first 12 points of the third quarter to go ahead, 42-27.

Brevitt earned game MVP honors after scoring a game-high 17 points. Francois had 14 points, Lavell Sobers netted 13, Irby had 12 and Cadet added 11 for Magnet. Travis Colburn led Flushing with 16 points.

“If we were playing like this at the beginning of the year, I believe we would have made the playoffs,” Granby said. “On a given day we can beat anybody, but we don’t have the type of team where we can slack.”

Theodore Roosevelt 75, Jamaica 70. Andy Cheveres and Edward Berrios scored 25 points apiece for Roosevelt (18-4) in the first game of the Martin Luther King Classic.

The second game between St. John’s Prep and Gompers was called off because the coaches decided the gym was too cold.

Boys and Girls 66, Cardozo 60. Carlos Collazo had 24 points and 16 rebounds to lead Boys and Girls (14-5) at the Brooklyn Bridge High Energy Classic at Long Island University. Cameron Tyler netted a game-high 32 points, but it wasn’t enough as Cardozo (16-4) dropped its second straight non-league game.

Springfield Gardens 49, John Bowne 41. Mike Wells had 26 points and Kirk Stewart added 9 points and 15 rebounds for Springfield Gardens (4-12) in a non-league win. Chris Watkins netted 20 points for Bowne (4-12).

Manhattan Center 82, Cardozo 61. Terry Williams had 20 points, Derrell Thomas had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Kevin Harris netted 18 points for Manhattan Center (15-5). Tyler scored a game-high 24 points for the Judges.

John Adams 85, Campus Magnet 75. Brian Covington had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Mike Arroyo added 16 points, and Brian Edwin had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Adams (12-8, 8-7 Queens III-A).

August Martin 75, Van Buren 42. Donnell Cummings had 31 points and 10 assists, and Jenar Harrison added 19 points and 15 boards for Martin (14-6, 10-6 Queens III-A).

Beach Channel 73, Springfield Gardens 58. Arthur Robertson had 20 points and Joe Thomas added 17 points for Beach Channel (15-2, 14-1 Queens III-A).

Flushing 73, Edison 66. Mario Nunez scored 33 points and Colburn added 14 for Flushing in a non-league win.

American Studies 82, RFK 55. Jose Galeano scored 31 points and Amseshem Foluke had 26 points and 21 rebounds for American Studies (15-4, 13-3 Queens B).

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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