The Whistle hits Hamilton Park

     The Hamilton Park Summer League, a competitive high school circuit calls Jersey City home. Under the auspices of official assignor and 'commissioner' Pat Devaney, the league is one of the more competitive and better organized ones in the area.


     Tonight called for an assignment of the 5 and 6 o'clock games. The league calls Hamilton Park (catchy, right ?) as home. An outdoor court in the park not far from St. Anthony's High School and the Holland Tunnel. On nights when the weatherman will not cooperate the league moves indoors. Tonight we are at School 7 in the Heights section of the City, a few miles north of Hamilton Park.  

    My partner is Joe Hatfield, a good official I enjoy working with. Joe played for the legendary Bob Hurley at St. Anthony's and despite being over 50, still refers to his former mentor as 'Mr. Hurley'.

     The score:

Bayonne     38                                         Jersey Jayhawks   32

     Bayonne jumped out to a 12-0 lead against the Jayhawks, an AAUteam from Bergen County, about 20 miles north of Jersey City. Having been in the league several years, the Jayhawk coach knows the competition and how these games flow. There is no panic and the AAU group pulls even and ahead by a possession midway through the game.

     Bayonne does not panic and uses their size to stay on the offensive glass. In the stretch their point guard proved to be a tough defensive assignment for the Jayhawks and they pulled away for the victory down the stretch. 

    Overall the game went well but a noticeable aspect was both team's point guards were good but had a tendency to play too fast at times. Experience and coaching will rectify that in time.

   Looking forward to game two and making notes I am told by Joe we have to leave. Why ? A bomb scare was phoned in. A retired Jersey City fire fighter, Joe knows the policy and procedure in these situations and predicts two hours or longer would be needed to gain clearance to reenter the building . At this point Devaney calls it a night and in the second night of the season, already rescheduling is a priority for the 'David Stern of Hamilton Park.' At least tomorrow the forecast is 80 degrees, with no rain in sight.

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