PDT Staff Writer
“I couldn’t put it down.” How many times have you heard that statement when someone is reading a good book. The truth is that I sometimes juggle three books at a time, and I have no problem putting one down and picking up another. However, Friday Ryan Ottney loaned me his copy of Steve Jenkins’ new book on the history of New Boston Glenwood High School basketball, and I looked at it until I finally realized I had more work to do and had to give it back.
Absolutely no one knows more about New Boston history than Steve Jenkins. And for sure no one knows more about New Boston basketball than Steve. After all he played in the system and coached in the system, and if you throw names at him, he can come up with stories about those people instantly.
New Boston basketball has a storied history. I hate to be a name dropper but I can throw those names with the best of them: Leroy Frazier, Jerry Jenkins, Ed Thompson, coach Homer Pellegrinon, and, of course, coach Steve Jenkins. And the list goes on and on and on. Out there somewhere is someone who will say - “why didn’t he mention…..” I really could put down a list of names as long as the number of years Glenwood High School stood as a proud institution of learning. But I don’t have the space for it.
I found it to be one of the most beautiful schools I have ever been in. The place was always polished. It was clean, fresh looking, with great art on walls, and a storied history of creating future leaders.
If you get a copy of the book, you will be treated to photos that will hold your attention for hours. You will see newspaper clippings, listings of all county and all state players. You will see highlights of great games played in one of the area’s original basketball facilities.
New Boston basketball is Scott Jenkins getting all conference honors. New Boston basketball is Nancy Clever directing the band. New Boston basketball is a small gym with players with big hearts pulling off upsets of teams much bigger and more experienced. You should get Steve Jenkins’ book. Put your child on your lap and go over the book with him or her. Tell them students lined the balcony on Friday nights and made more noise than some larger facilities at much larger schools. Tell them there is a rich tradition in New Boston basketball. Tell them that as students and yes, basketball players move on next year to their beautiful new school and gym, there will still be the ghosts of some of the legendary players floating around the gym on Glenwood Avenue, just a jaunt up Hill Street. The students should go back there once in a while and just sit and feel the atmosphere. There is no better way to know what you can become than to know where you came from.
Thanks Steve Jenkins for your hard work in teaching young men to not only play above their levels, but to become men and leaders in the community. And thanks for compiling one of the great stories of an historic program in pictures and words. Thanks to no small effort by you - Tiger Pride is city wide. No - Tiger Pride is county wide.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org