Leading off today:
Long Island Lutheran point guard Andre Curbelo has repeated as the boys Class AA basketball player of the year, the New York State Sportswriters Association announced Wednesday. Curbelo shares the honor with Archbishop Stepinac senior guard R.J. Davis.
The Class A player of the year is Albany Academy wing Andre Jackson.
The NYSSWA also released its all-state selections for Classes AA and A.
Curbelo and Davis are repeat selections to the 'AA' first team as is Jackson in Class A.
Curbelo, who shared player of the year honors in 2019 with Cardinal Hayes guard Joe Toussaint, is joined on the first team by teammate Zed Key. The rest of the Class AA first team consists of Jordan Riley (Brentwood), Randy Crosby (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School), Khalil Brantley (Boys & Girls), and Luis Kortright (St. Raymond).
The rest of the Class A first team consists of JaVaughn Jones (Buffalo Health Sciences), Dior Davis (Murry Bergtraum), Jeremy Moranta (Transit Tech), Andre Snoddy (St. Anthony's), and Dwayne Vass (Canisius).
Curbelo has signed with Illinois and Jackson picked UConn. Davis, previous selected the state player of the year this season by Gatorade and Mr. Basketball by the the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, has committed to North Carolina.
The NYSSWA released its small-school selections for the all-state team last week.
Thanks to our helpers: Our appreciation goes out to the NYSSWA's Steve Grandin for once again editing the all-state team after also filling in during the season in compiling the weekly rankings.
Assisting in the compilation of the all-state team were: Ted Thomas (Long Island), Mike Libert (New York City), Josh Thomson (Westchester), Stephen Haynes (Poughkeepsie), Sal Interdonato (Middletown), Jim Schiltz (Schenectady), Will Springstead (Glens Falls), Keith Lobdell (Elizabethtown), Bill Merna (Ogdensburg), Dave Shea (Ogdensburg), Cap Carey (Watertown), Phil Sanzo (Watertown), Nolan Weidner (Syracuse), Pat Spadafore (Syracuse), Marquel Slaughter (Utica), Tom Vartanian (Cortland), Jared Bomba (Oneonta), Nate Lull (Sidney), Kevin Stevens (Binghamton), Andrew Legare (Elmira), James Johnson (Rochester), Paul Gotham (Rochester), Bob Chavez (Canandaigua), Chris Metcalf (Batavia), Bill Collmer (Avoca), Chad Andrews (Buffalo) and Dave Universal (Buffalo).
Rough road ahead: Newsday was first of the date with reporting on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on school sports budgets for the 2020-21 school year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement on Monday that districts across New York could be looking at a 20% cut in state aid is very bad news.
Any reduction in state aid has implications for athletic departments and other extra-curricular activities, but 20% has the potential to trigger this scenario repeatedly across the state:
- The school board does its best to contain costs but still proposes a 10-20% increase in school taxes.
- Voters reject the budget in the annual vote.
- A new budget is sent to the voters, this team with the increase in the 8-15% range.
- The budget is rejected a second time, forcing the district to go with an austerity bedget that does not include funding for sports.
That would leave it to the community to raise funds for sports and other extra-curriculars at a time when the local unemployment rate will still likely still be in double-digits and numerous restaurants and other small businesses that traditionally supported sports programs have ceased operating.