2008-02-08 / Sports

Forbes Finds Success On The Hardwood With Binghamton

By Elio Velez

Richard Forbes (right) speaks to reporters during a Binghamton practice this year. Richard Forbes (right) speaks to reporters during a Binghamton practice this year. Richard Forbes has traveled around the United States to find a home to play college basketball.

After years of travel, Forbes got his chance to put down his suitcase and unpack his belongings in the fall of 2006, at Binghamton University.

Currently in his senior year, Forbes plies his trade as one of the starting guards for the Bearcats in the America East Conference.

Known for his explosiveness on offense, Forbes has adjusted to the rigors of playing in one of the best midmajor Division I conferences in the country.

New coach Kevin Broadus, who arrived from Georgetown University where he was an assistant last year, has started Forbes as part of a threeguard alignment.

Forbes is aiming to keep Binghamton in contention in the America East Conference. The Bearcats are 10- 12 overall but are 6-4 within the conference. They are tied for third place with the University of Albany and Hartford.

The former Far Rockaway High School star was explosive on the court in his senior year in 2003, leading the Public School Athletic League in scoring with 32 points per game.

While Forbes is now averaging far fewer points than he scored at Far Rockaway, the senior remains a vital part of the Binghamton offense. Forbes is third on the Bearcats roster in scoring, with 11 points per game. He's also second on the team in assists and in steals.

His most impressive number is completing 85% of his free-throws, which leads the Binghamton roster.

Forbes told the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin that he has continued to practice a free-throw routine, which he has done since high school.

Taking the ball at the free-throw line from the referee, he dribbles twice, takes a deep breath, and then takes the shot.

"I've been shooting free throws good my whole life," Forbes told the Binghamton Press.

"My routine's always been the same. This year I've been trying to get to the line more, because I'm good at making them."

Forbes has been on an odyssey since he was honored for his accomplishment in a halftime ceremony in the PSAL Championship at Madison Square Garden in March of 2003.

The athlete didn't enroll in college in 2004. He waited until September of 2005, when he landed at Tallahassee Community College in Florida.

Even though he came off the bench, he provided a spark in his freshman campaign. But he did not stay at Tallahassee, and transferred to Howard Junior College in Texas by the fall of 2006.

Forbes found success at Howard, where he averaged 10.8 points per game for a team that was ranked #1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association polls.

The team finished 35-2 and Forbes was named to the Western Junior College Athletic Conference all-star team.

Forbes returns to the New York City area when Binghamton travels to Manhattan College for a non-conference game on February 23 at 4 p.m.

College Notes

Former Beach Channel star Devon Saxon will be redshirted by Monroe Community College after suffering an ankle injury before the season started.

Saxon, who had averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Dolphins in the 2006-07 PSAL season, enrolled at the Rochester based school as a freshman this past fall. He will retain his two years of playing eligibility next season.

Dwayne Messam, a former teammate of Saxon at Beach Channel, is in his final year at Monroe. He is averaging 4 points per game in 16 games played this season. Monroe is currently 20-5 this season.

Southern Idaho Junior College is regarded as one of the most prestigious NJCAA programs in the country. In its 41 years, the men's basketball team has won 84% of their games played and have won the NJCAA national title twice.

Those were some of the attractions that caused Darius Gabriel to make a cross-country trip, where he has enrolled as a freshman at Southern Idaho.

The 19-year old Gabriel, a Far Rockaway native, played his first two years of high school at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn.

Transferring from Bishop Loughlin, Gabriel attended Winchenden Prep for three years until finding his way to Idaho.

The 6-foot, 175 pound point guard had drawn some interest from Division I schools such as Florida State

Gabriel hasn't seen much time on the floor because of a Southern Idaho roster that is currently 22-0 and is loaded with talent.

Gabriel has played in 17 out of the 22 games the Golden Eagles have played this season but has only averaged six minutes per contest.

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