So the rich just got a little richer last week when four-time reigning NYS Class AA girls’ basketball champion Ossining High discovered that hoops sensation Andra Espinoza-Hunter transferred back to Ossining after a three-year stint at the Blair Academy in New Jersey, a prestigious basketball powerhouse where she secured All-State selections in 2015 and 2016.
“Andra’s coming home,” a gleeful Ossining Coach Dan Ricci said last Friday night when the sharp-shooting forward tweeted out the big news. “The publics are always losing players to private schools, so it’s nice for this to happen for a change, for a public to welcome back one of their own. We relish this opportunity and the girls are all very excited to have Andra on the floor with them. She gives us the only thing we were missing, a strong senior leader.”
The UConn commit is also the closest thing to Steph Curry on Section 1 girls’ circuit, a prolific scorer with the kind of game-breaking ability that virtually assures Ossining of a fifth-straight Section 1 Class AA championship (though, let’s not put the cart before the horse), and some would suggest a fifth-straight NYSPHSAA title and a second consecutive NYS Federation crown are there for the taking.
The haters are sure to come out in force, crying foul and what not, just as they did when All-NYS sophomore Aubrey Griffin returned home for her freshman season last year. But the fact of the matter is these gals have major history at Ossining, and there’s no better place to play, or coach to learn from in NYS, than Ossining and Coach Ricci. His motor is always running at a high tempo and it’s an infectious sensation that leaves his players wanting more and never settling for second fiddle. Truth be told; they need a bigger gym on account of the crowds they draw, and the addition of Espinoza-Hunter ensures a packed house each and every night as this unit is sure to shatter scoring records and push 90 PPG or more should they desire.
Ricci said Espinoza-Hunter shot him a text on July 3, showing an interest in returning to her former team. She requested a meeting with Ricci, who was open to the notion from jump street. Who wouldn’t be? Everything is above board: Since Espinoza-Hunter never played for Ossining as a high school student (having played in 7th and 8th-grade on the varsity), she is eligible to play immediately for the Pride this season while she settles back in at home to help care for an ailing grandmother, who suffers from ALS.
That leaves Ricci with as loaded a starting five as there has ever been in Ossining history, including three sophomores — Division I-offered Griffin and Kailah Harris, as well as all-state honorable mention point guard Jaida Strippoli and junior F Helen Ishmael. Sixth girl, junior Kelsey Quain, could start on any other team in Section 1, but she, unselfishly, is likely to provide instant offense off the bench.
Safe to say, folks in and about Ossining will be booking their trips and reserving their hotel rooms for a schedule that includes stops at prestigious tournaments in Virginia, The Slam Dunk, Our Lady of Lourdes and two one-day events against top NYC schools before they get into the meat of a Section 1 schedule they will slice and dice…
So long, Tim Duncan, the GOAT of NBA power forwards. In an era when many professional athletes put themselves above their sport, the San Antonio Spurs’ future Hall of Famer and five-time NBA champion was the epitome of class and selflessness for 19 seasons, two of which were MVP. No on- or off-court issues, zero drama, no Kobe-esque six-month, self-coronation retirement tour around the NBA. Just a cell phone and a mic and a simple good bye…
Under no circumstances should the NY Mets trade 20-year-old, Dominican-born SS Amid Rosario (.414 BA, .475 OB%), who is tearing up AA ball through 19 games for the Binghamton Mets. Power-hitting shortstops are simply untouchable…
Hate to say this, but I think it’s time to just leave our flags in the half-mast position, because as soon as we hoist them up again, another set of murdering marauders will force us to bring them down. NYPD, Dallas police, Baton Rouge police, Milwaukee police; all ambushed by divisive, home-grown terrorist groups, hiding under the guise of civil rights, plus these cowardly ISIS attacks throughout the world.
As the guy responsible for the American flag in the Putnam Valley Town Park, I’m getting a little tired of the nonsensical up and down deal. Again, I thank God for the safety in which we seemingly exist here in Putnam and Northern Westchester County, but, and I say this with care for my fellow man (no matter their color): Head on a swivel, people! That’s 29 police officers killed in the line of duty in our nation this year, many bushwhacked under siege of ambush: It’s appalling out there and these killings do nothing but broaden the great divide and further strain race relations. Killing cops ain’t the answer!