, Newburyport, MA


April 22, 2014

What fun we had playing basketball


These “seniors” were part of a men’s social club at the parish. Every March they ran a 16-team contest somewhat like a semi-pro tournament to raise money for the club. I can’t recall what year it was, but the Whitinsville A.C. showed up to play, and lo and behold, there stood this 6-foot-4 black player, the first to show in this tournament, and we all, all 700 fans, were witness to our “first slam dunks.”

As best as I can recall, he played under the name of Joe Montiero (sounds like a ringer’s name to me).

Chains became net, wood became glass, slam dunks started, but it took a while for the 3-pointer.

Five or six years after my graduation from this high school, this school, St. Mary’s of Worcester, went on to win the New England High School Championship in a major upset.

You know what, “Boots”? I think we had a hellava good time in our day.


Richard A. Astukewicz of Salisbury is a retired business manager.

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