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CK legend honored by NYS HOF

It was 1998, Sue Bird's senior year, and the guard who went on to fame at Connecticut and the WNBA struggled. Now one of the best free-throw shooters in WNBA history, she missed five straight foul shots in the second half and Corcoran (Syracuse) went ahead in the fourth quarter. But it was Bird who came through in the clutch with her passing. She hit a teammate under the basket to put the Royals up one and they went on to win by seven points. It completed a perfect season."We were not only the New York state Federation champion," said the coach, who left CK in 1999, "we were the USA Today national champions."Count this weekend as another unforgettable one for Cannizzaro. He was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday at a ceremony inside Glens Falls Civic Center. Cannizzaro won 450 games in his 19 seasons at CK. The Royals won 16 straight Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan championships, 12 CHSAA state championships and 10 consecutive state Federation titles under Cannizzaro. USA Today declared Christ the King national champions three times and named Cannizzaro national coach of the year twice."I would have loved to have seen [him inducted] years ago," said Jill Cook, Cannizzaro's former assistant coach and a current assistant at Christ the King. "He might be one of the most important people in the country in girls' high-school basketball."Current Royals coach Bob Mackey, who was also Cannizzaro's assistant, agreed that the honor was "long overdue.""I'm looking forward to seeing him get inducted into the (national) women's basketball Hall of Fame," Mackey said. "He set the standard."Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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