2009-04-17 / Sports

Breezy Point Resident Named To State Hall Of Fame

By Elio Velez

Tim Leary, the all-time leader in victories as St. Francis Prep High School varsity basketball coach, and Breezy Point resident, was recently elected on March 29 to the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.

Xaverian High School basketball coach Jack Alessi, Monsignor McClancy head coach Don Kent, and St. Francis Prep coach Tim Leary, gave lectures in a basketball clinic hosted by the GrayBeards at St. Francis de Sales in 2003. Xaverian High School basketball coach Jack Alessi, Monsignor McClancy head coach Don Kent, and St. Francis Prep coach Tim Leary, gave lectures in a basketball clinic hosted by the GrayBeards at St. Francis de Sales in 2003. The ceremony took place during the New York State Federation basketball championships held at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

In 39 years of coaching, Leary has won 566 games at St. Francis Prep. He has been honored on numerous occasions by the CHSAA as their Coach of the Year.

Though he has not had the high level of talent that has landed in other schools, Leary is highly regarded as a coach who has elicited the most out of his players.

"He can take a team, that on paper, is a 20-point underdog, and he can coach them to where the kids are right in the game," Monsignor McClancy basketball coach Don Kent, who has won over 400 games, said to fiveborosports.com.

Leary gives pointers to the basketball players. Leary gives pointers to the basketball players. St. Francis has won seven division titles, made the semifinals of the CHSAA city playoffs four times, and was runner-up in the 1997 championship final to LaSalle Academy. That team with Ron Artest, who went on to star at St. John's University and the NBA, was ranked the #1 high school team in the country.

Leary starred on the varsity basketball team at St. Francis Prep with Kent. Attending Manhattan College, Leary graduated in 1967 after helping to guide the Jaspers to two appearances in the National Invitational Tournament. He also lettered in baseball.

Not only was Leary inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame, Leary is a member of the St. Francis Prep, New York City Catholic High School Athletic Association and the Basketball Old Timers of America Hall of Fame.

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