Twice-Weekly March: Madness at Resurrection
If someone told you that there was a place in Rye where 75 high school-age boys played basketball in a gem of a new gym, organized into six teams, carefully balanced by age and skill levels, with official referees, that might sound like a pretty good thing.
By Tom McDermott
If someone told you that there was a place in Rye where 75 high school-age boys played basketball in a gem of a new gym, organized into six teams, carefully balanced by age and skill levels, with official referees, that might sound like a pretty good thing. Add that the boys are expected to have fun, and do; that coaches, parents, and especially the players, conduct themselves in a respectful, supportive manner at every game.
Madness, you say? Exactly. This “March Madness” takes place each Thursday night and Sunday afternoon at Resurrection Middle School’s Doty Gym until April 2. The program’s mastermind is Reverend Monsignor Donald M. Dwyer, who has spent the last four of his 35 years as a priest as pastor at Church of the Resurrection. As he puts it, “There are no standings, no playoffs, no pressure.”
Many of the players are from Resurrection parish and attended its grammar or middle schools, but many also come from public schools and a variety of religious backgrounds. They attend a number of high schools, including Fordham and Iona preps, Rye Country Day, and, of course, Rye High. In fact, Garnet hoopsters abound, including Mark Croughan, Pierce Crowley, Will Durkee, Dain Monaghan, Charlie Nagle, and Spencer Reno from the varsity; and Kyle Doran, Gavin Kenny, Seamus McCrohan, James McHugh, and Max Samberg from the junior varsity.
Doran likes the fact that he can “play with and against players of all ages.”
While Kenny, who began playing in March Madness last year, “loves being able to play in the new gym.” And, who wouldn’t? It combines a regulation size high school court with the intimacy of gyms from another era.
The six teams playing February 26 needed no 24 – or 30-second clock. Former local and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni would smile at these fast-paced, wide open 40-minute contests, in which there was no such thing as a slow break.
All the players get to play, and demonstrate varying levels of skill. All the teams balanced shooting threes and closer jumpers with driving to the basket, along with generously sharing the ball. As for the “D”, it’s vigorous and the referees blink on some fouls.
Even the refs, Paul Ruhe and Bill Tierney, join in the fun. While making a charging call on Croughan, who starred for his blue team against the reds, Ruhe said for all to hear, “although the player contests the call.”
Former RHS student and current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver would be well advised to spend some time at Doty Gym to see how basketball can be truly entertaining again. Maybe he could bring along James Dolan.