Column: Nuse Sense

Pair is worthy of Hall

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
   You have to admire those who get to live their dream.
   As a standout player at Montgomery High School, Derick Grant wanted what every high school player wants — a shot to play in college.
   Grant made the most of that opportunity, becoming one of the top Division III players in the country while at The College of New Jersey. As a senior, Grant was the New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
   After college Grant wanted what a lot of college basketball players want — a shot to play basketball professionally. You won’t find his name on the roster of any NBA team or even a European team. But you will find him entertaining millions as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, one of the great institutions in basketball.
   Grant makes his living playing basketball. But each summer he comes back to his roots and spends his court time at Community Park in Princeton, where he plays in the Princeton Recreation Men’s Summer Basketball League.
   Grant wrapped up his second straight league scoring title on Tuesday night when his 33 points lifted his season average to 26 points a game. He’s one of the dominant players in a highly competitive league.
   And while Grant gets to live his dream of playing basketball professionally as a Globetrotter, many of the players in the Princeton league get to continue their basketball careers over the summer in Princeton — in a league that has become one of the finest around.
   Last Saturday, the Princeton Summer League celebrated its 20th anniversary. That’s a nice run for a summer league. They honored a lot of people that day — former players and administrators who got the league off the ground and helped make it what it is today.
   They didn’t get a chance to honor two of the most important people in the history of the league because they were the ones doing the honoring.
   Ben Stentz and Evan Moorhead took what was a very good league and made it even better. The two have spent countless hours helping the league grow. They’ve made sure it’s a league that is well run and well respected.
   There may someday be an opportunity for Stentz and Moorhead to find themselves in the league’s Hall of Fame, which inducted its first members last Saturday. The two wouldn’t put themselves in (or would they?), so they’ll have to wait until someone else takes over the league for that to happen.
   Whether or not the league would continue without the pair, that’s something the players in the league would prefer not to have to find out.
   As great as some of the teams and players have been in the league over the years, there needs to be a league for them to be able to showcase their talent in. And for that, players like Grant and those who went into the Hall of Fame last weekend can thank Stentz and Moorhead.
   The league continued once original commissioner Doug Snyder and his assistant, Gil Fisher, moved on. They were not easy to replace, but the right pair of people stepped in and under their direction the league has flourished.
   So even though they’re not officially in the league’s Hall of Fame, we might as well consider Ben Stentz and Evan Moorhead inaugural members.