Just like the NBA at Somerton Park

Just like the NBA at Somerton Park


As seen in Rochester’s own street ball Rucker League and Back to normalcy at Cobb’s Hill basketball, we all enjoy the legendary game at Cobb’s Hill. Now a new tradition has begun at Somerton Park off Park Avenue.

About a month ago, a bunch of guys living in the Park Avenue area bought nets at Target for the two basketball hoops in Somerton Park. After sweeping leaves and any litter off the court, the guys play a spirited version on an NBA two-on-two game.

Jake, who works at Harris, is the out-of-stater, having played high school hoops in Michigan. Jake models himself after the Knicks’ Kristaps Porziņģis because both are tall and lanky. But only Kristaps is from Latvia.


(l-r) Nick, Alex, Tim and Jake (Quinn not pictured) 8/15/16

NBA-style play at the Somerton Park court 8/15/16

The newest member of the group, rookie Nick emulates the Canadian future Hall of Famer Steve Nash. Both are known for their passing game or as Nick says, “all I can do is pass.” Nick definitely did not play his college ball at SUNY Geneseo.

With some hoops pedigree behind him from back in the day at Greece Odyssey, Tim has been likened to his namesake Tim Duncan because of his good fundamentals or so he has been told. Unlike Duncan, Tim has no plans to retire. Tim also did not play collegiately at SUNY Geneseo.

erni pic

Still painful to recall Game Six in 1974, Braves vs. the Celtics, the year Ernie D. was Rookie of the Year. from Our new Pacific Northwest sports commentator. On the Seahawks, and some Bills.

ernie d

Quinn defending Ernie D.

Alex actually compares himself to a baseball player, Chucky Knoblauch. Because, as Alex says, “it’s a long way from second to first” (referring to Knoblauch’s sudden and mysterious case of the throwing jitters). Alex did not play at RIT.

Quinn plays much like journeyman Nate Robinson who can dunk a little better than Quinn. Quinn also went to SUNY Geneseo.

In the action shot, Nash drove baseline past Duncan, spotting Knoblauch underneath. Luckily, Knoblauch only had to catch the basketball and not throw it. Knoblauch would follow with a loud, full force, slam dunk heard all the way at Cobb’s Hill.

Then walked onto the court Ernie DiGregorio himself. Because I lived and died with Ernie D when he played for the Buffalo Braves and because when living in Rhode Island where he is still a legend I met him. And because he is short.

Quinn easily forced a misfire as I moved a lot like Ernie after his devastating knee injury.somerton park

Come by the game played a few early evenings a week. Anyone can join. As long as you don’t model yourself after Michael Jordan or LeBron James.


Rochester’s own street ball Rucker League

Back to normalcy at Cobb’s Hill basketball

From the Rucker League to Edison Tech. With a Ph.D. in between.

One final shot at the greatest March Madness upset, Providence, St. Patricks Day, 1989

65 years ago today at Edgerton Park Arena when the NBA color line was first broken. And Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Rochester; summer of ’46

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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