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The Rose Hill Gym is the oldest on-campus venue currently in use by a Division 1 club. Opened in 1925, the gym is surrounded by stone walls as if someone dropped a basketball court in the middle of a mid-evil courtyard. These are the kind of gyms that ooze character and history much like Yale’s Payne Whitney gym. I inserted a picture above of some cathedral windows overlooking the court. The arena is very small and unimposing but it makes for great viewing of a basketball game.
So for the scary part! I did not do a thorough job of researching the Bronx neighborhood and the route from the train station to the gym. I read that it was a short walk. As I exited the train station, I saw the campus behind me. So I used WAZE to map the streets to the gym. The smart thing would have been to use Google Maps to map out a walk to the gym. So as I meandered down the first street, my heat beat quickened as I saw that I was not in friendly territory. As I passed shuttered store fronts and loud music emanating from wherever, I quickened my pace to a very fast walk. I discretely kept looking at the phone without advertising myself as a tourist. I was picturing a gang of youths hanging out on the street corner ahead licking their chops at this target walking towards them. Nonetheless, I made the 10 minute walk in record time. Once inside the campus walls, I felt safer. After the game, I opened up Google maps and found a walking path from the gym to the station within the campus. Lesson learned!
Inside the campus, I asked an older gentleman where the gym was. He gladly showed me and as we walked, we conversed about his old days at Fordham when he graduated in 1961. He showed me the green area where he played intramural sports. He was a pharmacy major who later became a lawyer. The workload forced him to drop out of the four major sports he was playing except for baseball. As we walked by buildings, he would describe each one. These are the moments that make it all fun – interacting with the older alumni who love their school.
The crowd was very small which I am guessing was due to their Division 2 opponent. NYIT kept it close during the first half but the Fordham completely overran them in the second half.
I have noticed a roster pattern when you have a small Division 1 school fighting for recruits among the bigger schools in the area. This is the case with Fordham and the other borough schools. If you examine the Rams roster, half of the players are from other countries. Fordham has players from Germany, Canada, Czech Republic and Turkey. I suppose it is important for coaches in these situations to have contacts overseas that may bring in a good but unknown player.
My player of the game was Ram Joseph Chartouny from Canada. He had 17 points and 14 assists. One could tell that Chartouny knew exactly what he wanted to do with the ball making the right decisions on whether to shoot or pass. He was selected on the preseason first team for the A-10. Given UCONN’s troubles lately, he would add immense value to their offense.
The pep band was loud and raucous. The noise must be outrageous for a game with a rival given the small size of the gym.
So I have two NYC teams down this year and three to go. On to Chicago for a 5 day/ 3 game trip!