Ten more talented basketball players from Rome


Last week I mentioned some basketball players from Rome who were not included in the Top 75 of Central New York in a publication printed in Syracuse. My four sons were upset that I put them in my top 10 from Rome. They told me they weren’t that good. Well, in my eyes they were. But they told me of some of the players listed below who belong on my list.

1. Calvin Carney: He played back in 1986 and was a player who could get to the rim. He lived with Rome Free Academy Coach Stan Evans when his parents moved away. He went on to a great four-year career at Hamilton College.

2. Mike Colgan: He played shooting guard and never met a three-pointer he didn’t like. His team coached by John Baldwin almost won the Section III tournament back in 1995. His dad was a great shooter too.

3. Brad Nelson: He was one of the fiercest rebounders in RFA history. He led his team to a sectional final and went on to play at American International and Binghamton University. He is now an officer in the U.S. Army and lives in Dayton, Ohio.

4. John Tsimis: He won two sectional championships in 1999 and 2000 for Coach Jim Kenny. He had the best footwork of any big man in Rome Catholic High history, and was an all-state selection in junior and senior years. He took the Redwings to the Final Four in Glens Falls in 1999.

5. Joe Melioris: He was 6-foot-10 and was dominant playing for Coach Brendan Ryan back in 2008. He signed a baseball contract with the Angels and played in Single A. His dad was a great player too.

6. Rondell Williams: One of the best players in the 90s in Central New York. He could dunk with the best and is a Rome YMCA legend.

7. Dave Miner: He played for RFA and Lew Bennett back in 1966. He was only 5-foot-8 but led the Central Oneida League in scoring. He was so quick off the dribble and a clever passer. He passed away a few years ago and is missed by so many.

8. Nate Cannon: He played for the NYSSD and held the record for most points in the state for many years. He scored over 2,000 points. He graduated from high school in 1970 and when I came home from Vietnam I saw him play in the sectionals. He scored 54 points that night and he was awesome.

9. Barry VanDreason: He played for my coach Don McLellan back in 1965. He was a three-year starter and one of the best pure shooters I have ever seen. If they had the three-point shot for him? OMG!

10. Jim Bentley: He played for Coach Frank Didio and RCH back in 1971. He scored over 1,000 points mostly from the outside and was an outstanding shooter. One of my favorites.

Do you remember Eddie Westfall? He played for the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders back in 1960-1979. He has two Stanley Cup rings with the Bruins and after his playing career he became the voice of the Islanders for over 20 years. Last week on my Florida trip to Naples I got to play 18 holes of golf with him. He is now 78-years-old and beat me pretty good. He is a great guy and he is also the best friend of 1968 RCH alumni Tom O’Brien. 

Geek of the week: GM Dave Gettleman of the New York Giants. Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins is gone without a trace and Gettleman doesn’t seem to have any sort of plan to fix the undermanned unit. Just a reminder to my Giant fans, the Carolina Panthers fired him.

I am now over 70-years-old yet still feel like I am in my 40s. What a wonderful life I’ve had. I only wish I’d realized it sooner.


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