by Paul Snyder
2021 the year of the “Get Back.” Get back to normal? Maybe. Whatever normal is. I started this as a Hoop Journal, but when Covid shutdown travel and games in the middle of championship week I pivoted.
It became a fishing journal. I was thankful to have a season. I wrote about offshore and inshore trips. The whale inhaling thousands of menhaden with a wide open mouth 600 feet off Ditch Plains trailer park sticks out. Not a bad abbreviated season.
Calling 2021 the year of the “Get Back” is inspired by Jason Douglas-Stanley. Jason transferred from George Mason University to Manhattan College this year for his Junior season. He’s a “pure shooter” who scored 50 points in a game at Mt. Vernon High School. His 50 is the Mt. Vernon single game record. Mt Vernon’s a legendary program with incredible history. Gus, Ray & Sam Williams…Rodney & Scooter McCray… As the current Mt. Vernon Coach Bob Cimmino said to me, “The Vern is deep.” In 1970 as a Junior Gus Williams was cut from Varsity and played JV. In ‘71 he was an All-American running a team with 3 future NBA players. Gus Williams (Warriors, Super Sonics, Bullets, Hawks ’75-‘87), Earl Tatum (Lakers, Pacers, Celtics, Pistons, Cavs ‘76-‘80), Rudy Hackett(Nets, Pacers ‘76). None of them scored 50 in a game. Ben Gordon (Bulls, Pistons, Bobcats & Magic ‘04-‘15) who led Mt. Vernon to a perfect season in 2000 with wins in NY’s Public HS & Federation Championships, didn’t score more than 50. The sign over the locker room door reads, “Tradition Never Graduates”. Another reads, “Where legends are made and imposters exposed.” I’ve learned so much from the Fellas at the Vern. Covid stole a lot from the High School athletes this year. Maybe the year of the “Get Back” means something different. Maybe it means to “Get Back” what the pandemic has taken from us. Whatever your 2021 “Get Back” is, make sure it’s positive. The power of positivity will see you through.