Last month, “06880” reported on Nate Greenberg. The 2010 Staples grad — and Ewing’s sacrcoma survivor — had just been selected to give the student address at Union College’s graduation.
A few days ago, he gave that speech. And whether you’re a Union alum or have no connection whatsoever with the school, it’s worth hearing.
Nate spoke strongly and insightfully about his battle. Cancer “can take you down, or build you up,” he said.
For him, that was the beginning of a new life. His disease “brought out the best in me,” Nate said.
A month before his graduation speech, Nate Greenberg was interviewed on Albany’s News 10.
Of course, he had support. He cited lacrosse teammates who shaved their heads in solidarity, Union students he did not know who tied yellow ribbons or wore his #3, and alumni he never knew who reached out to him.
“This is what life is all about,” Nate said.
He cited the importance of virtues like kindness and compassion, noting that life is not just about accomplishments. It’s also about “moments.”
Nate concluded: “Be present. Love. Take time to feel. Appreciate this magical thing called life.”
Click below, to hear Nate’s full speech. Click here if your browser does not take you directly to YouTube.
There are a few ways to make $1 million in basketball.
You can be an NBA star, which pretty much means planning before birth to have 7-foot parents.
You can win your NCAA bracket, which pretty much means having as much luck as having 7-foot parents.
Or you can win The Tournament. That’s the path a pair of Westporters hope plan to take.
The Tournament is a 5-on-5, winner-take-all event. There is no entry free. 18 teams, in each of 4 US regions, are selected by fan votes. Another 6 in each region get at-large bids.
The winning team earns $950,000. The other 5% goes to its fans — including $5,000 to the fan who recruits the most other fans.
Jordan Schur was in the Tournament stands last year, in Philadelphia. The 2001 Staples graduate — a former Wrecker basketball (and soccer) star, who went on to an impressive hoops career at Union College — was impressed by the level of play, and the professional uniforms, refereeing and organization.
For the past year, he’s plotted how to get in. He knew he could put together a team of guys he plays with, in his regular 5:30-7 a.m. game.
But he graduated from college 10 years ago. The more he thought about it, the more Schur realized that, as general manager, he could form a much better squad.
That is not an idle idea. Schur became a FIBA-certified international basketball agent in 2011. It was a hobby — in real life he’s a lawyer — but he enjoyed placing American players with overseas teams.
John DiBartolomeo, in Spain.
One of the players he knew of was John DiBartolomeo. In 2009, Schur tried to recruit the Staples standout for Union. DiBartolomeo ended up at the University of Rochester — where he earned 1st team All-America honors, and was named Division III National Player of the Year.
After graduating, he signed a professional contract in Spain — and in his 1st season was named MVP of the 3rd Division league. This year’s he’s in the 2nd Division.
In February, Schur sent out feelers to a few players. DiBartolomeo leaped at the idea. He sent Schur a list of top players from overseas. Schur has signed up 7 so far, including guys from Japan, Israel and Egypt.
He’ll find 3 more players. It’s unlikely any others will have a Staples connection.
But “06880” readers can still be involved. The more fans Schur’s team has, the more chance they’ll have of being able to compete for that $1 million.
And remember: fans share in the prize money. There’s up to $5,000 in it for you.
Click here to help support “06880” via credit card or PayPal. Any amount is welcome — and appreciated! Reader contributions keep this blog going. (Alternate methods: Please send a check to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Or use Venmo: @DanWoog06880. Thanks!)