Tag: St. John’s

Big East Basketball Tournament - Second Round - St John's v Villanova

Assigned Reading: St. John’s pulls together through adversity

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St. John’s and head coach Steve Lavin have dealt with a lot of trying times in the last couple of seasons, including Lavin’s own battle with prostate cancer, the loss of Lavin’s father, Albert, as well as a number of tragic incidents that involved family members and friends of players on St. John’s.

In this fantastic read from Nate Taylor of The New York Times, we get an insight of how the Red Storm has had to weather so many tragedies together as a team and how it has made them stronger.

Lavin knows communication is vital, and he believes that it is the main reason his team has stuck together and matured through times of sorrow, including his own. In the past two years, family members or friends of four Red Storm players — Sir’Dominic Pointer, Phil Greene, Christian Jones and Rysheed Jordan — have died in shootings or automobile accidents.

It is nice to see that at St. John’s teammates are there rallying for each other and looking out for their own when tragedy strikes. At 9-5, the Red Storm have had an up-and-down start to the season, but they are no doubt a stronger team on and off the floor because of it. St. John’s will have a major test today at home in a Big East contest against No. 8 Villanova.

You can read the full version of Taylor’s story on St. John’s here.

St. John’s strength & conditioning coach rebuilding home ravaged by Hurricane Sandy

St. John's Athletics
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Last October Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard, resulting in 117 deaths in the United States (69 more deaths in Canada and the Caribbean) and billions of dollars in damage. Families in some areas are still working to rebuild their lives nearly a year after Sandy, estimated by the National Hurricane Center to be the second-costliest tropical cyclone on record (behind Katrina).

One of those people rebuilding is St. John’s strength and conditioning coach Patrick Dixon, whose house on Long Island was destroyed by the natural disaster. But instead of packing up and moving elsewhere Dixon’s done what many have chosen to do: rebuild, erecting a three-floor house to replace the original single-story home in Long Beach, N.Y.

Rather than use his insurance and federal grant money to either purchase or build a home similar to the original structure Dixon borrowed in order to help offset the costs for a larger (and ultimately, better equipped to handle major storms) dwelling, acquiring permits needed in order to legally demolish and rebuild his house.

He hired professionals for the complicated jobs that required licensed contractors — pouring a foundation or laying out electric wiring. Since May he’s spent hours in early afternoons and evenings to put up frames, strap and nail wood sheathing, and install wood staircases and Sheetrock walls, he said.

Dixon put in the time, and he’s now close to completing this difficult task. And in regards to those permits Dixon needed the city’s been helpful with the process, although there was some surprise initially when approached by a home owner who wanted to embark on such a project.

So the city’s building department staff “just openly laughed; they’ve been very helpful with getting this job done” when he inquired about permits for demolishing and rebuilding it on his own, he said.

To say the least that’s great news, and it can also serve as a teaching point for the players Dixon trains. For as difficult as pushing through that extra sprint on the court or extra rep in the weight room can be, imagine how difficult the process of rebuilding a home can be.

Sophomore Amir Garrett will transfer from St. John’s

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Sophomore swingman Amir Garrett will leave the St. John’s program and transfer to another institution, he announced via a series of messages on his Twitter page Tuesday night.

Garrett, who came to St. John’s in the second semester of his freshman season after running to eligibility issues with the NCAA at the beginning of the 2011-12 season, saw decreased minutes during his sophomore year. He averaged 5.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in just over 20 minutes per game for a team that finished 17-16 on the year, including 8-10 in the Big East.

Garrett is a native of Los Angeles, Calif., and was part of Steve Lavin’s first full recruiting class that came to Queens. That class included nine players: Moe Harkless, Sir’Dominic Pointer, D’Angelo Harrison, Norvel Pelle, JaKarr Sampson, Phil Greene, Nurideen Lindsey, God’sgift Achiuwa, and Garrett.

Of those nine, Pelle never played college ball because of academic issues and has now entered his name into the 2013 NBA draft, Lindsey transferred to Rider and was eligible to play immediately this past season, and Harrison was suspended for the end of the regular season and entire postseason for conduct detrimental to the team.

Garrett has opportunities outside of basketball, though. He is currently signed to play minor league baseball in the Cincinnati Reds farm system, but says that he will continue his basketball career at another school.

This now frees up a scholarship for St. John’s in 2013 and Steve Lavin is actively recruiting point guard Rysheed Jordan, a Philadelphia native.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_