Utilizing the myriad of experiences and people he has met and worked with in a six-decades career as the Official Scorer for the New Jersey Nets of the NBA, Herb Turetzky has authored a collection of poems which will make the reader feel as if he/she is actually taking part in this wonderful life, going back to the beginning of the author's involvement with basketball in the blue-collar Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. Along the way, as the author makes his readers feel almost as if they, too, are sitting courtside working with some of the greatest athletes in the world, readers will get the feeling of winning team championships, being installed in numerous Halls of Fame, and forming relationships with such storied athletes as Shaquille O'Neal, Michael Jordan and Julius "Dr. J" Erving. In short, for even the most casual fan of the game of basketball or almost any Brooklynite, you will find BASKETBALL and Life to be a MUST-READ book, one you will remember for years to come.
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About the Author
Drawing from his youth, growing up in Brooklyn's Brownsville neighborhood and getting an early introduction to the "City Game" of basketball at the Brownsville Boys Club, Herb Turetzky has been able to blend these two major influences on his life into a collection of poetry which, mixed with his closely-knit family relationships, has resulted in a "must read" for followers of each area. Using his love for the game to forge what has now become a six-decade career as Official Scorer for the New Jersey Nets of the NBA, Herb has managed to expand his experiences around the globe. His career with the Nets has reached the point where he has now worked in more than 1,100 consecutive games over the past 26 years and has been enshrined in the National Pro-Am City Leagues Hall of Fame, Brooklyn U.S.A. Basketball Hall of Fame, National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and, with the great Julius 'Dr. J" Erving serving as his personal escort, the prestigious New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. With the strength and support of his wife of forty years, Jane, a New York City Special Education Health Coordinator, and their children Jennifer, a School Psychologist, and David, a former college basketball coach now embarking on a career as a High School Guidance Counselor, Herb hopes to continue his career with the Nets for at least two more years and join them at their under-construction Barclays Center home in his native borough of Brooklyn for the 2012 season. In so doing, Herb will have completed quite a circuitous career in professional basketball, beginning as a college senior at Brooklyn's Long Island University and finishing up at the Barclays Center, perhaps a mile from LIU. It has been quite a journey and one you will feel you have shared by the time you finish this collection of poetry.
Read an Excerpt
The Streak by Herb Turetzky
It started May third, nineteen eighty-four, when just back from France, I sat down to keep score. The Nets and the Bucks, the Playoffs were on, it was hard to believe I had ever been gone.
Victorious in France, my team sure had much fun. I missed the first series, in which the Nets won. Back at the table in my great courtside seat I started to score without missing a beat.
From that playoff game on, as history shows, I�ve made it through traffic, flat tires and snows. Not missing a game, I�ve done all that I can to score Nets� home games, both here and Japan.
Not paying attention to how many straight, I just did my job, which really is great. Then one night they asked, �How much time had now passed since a Nets� game at home you had ever missed last?�
At that point it was around seven fifty, and, all of a sudden, it seemed rather nifty to watch as each game I continued to score the consecutive games worked just kept getting more.
Eight hundred soon came, and then it was past, I started to wonder, �Just how long could it last?� When nine hundred arrived, I was honored that night, a pre-game announcement, a free airline flight.
When the streak reached one thousand, the treatment was neat, the Nets gave my family a luxury suite, a big pre-game show with Doc�s video and all, a great presentation, an autographed game ball.
The articles written reached national in scope And now, for much more, I�ve begun to give hope, that three years, at least, I�ll continue to strive and make it to Brooklyn, my streak still alive.
But more than the number of consecutive games, I�ll remember the people, the players, the names. JKidd and Vince Carter, the great Finals� squads, but none will be like my late friend, the great Draz.
I know I�ve been lucky to make it this long and keep forming friendships, so many so strong. I�ll never forget all my wonderful friends, I�ll always be grateful when this finally ends.
The �Hall� Call by Herb Turetzky
In 2001, Pro-Am�s honor first came. I was inducted into their elite Hall of Fame. The Garden was the scene for the welcoming lines, followed by an article in the great New York Times.
In 2004 came more Halls galore, when one event was over, there soon was one more. Jewish Sports Hall, how much that was worth, and Brooklyn USA, my borough of birth.
The greatest excitement came with the phone call welcoming me to the New York City Basketball Hall. Joining the group with Kareem, Doc and Cooz, I was shocked at the sound of this wonderful news.
At the New York AC the evening would be, the great Julius Erving would accompany me. Along with my family and hundreds of guests were my boys from the �hood, the Amerks and the Nets.
Three times through the night my mind just had to pause while the crowd gave me rounds of thunderous applause. For a Hall call from Springfield, it�s just futile to wait, but I made New York City�s, nothing could be as great.
With a great introduction, I was totally awed, then �The Doctor� came up to present my award. Another Times article, congrats from the Nets, I just can�t ask for more, this was good as it gets.
My years keeping score and my love for the game have brought me great honors and wonderful fame. But with all the attention, this Hall of Fame call was the greatest reward from my loved basketball.
For forty-three years I�ve been keeping score, Nine ABA, NBA thirty-four. The greatest position I could ever attain I�m a link in this game�s quite incredible chain.
No matter how long I continue to score, if honors keep coming, forever more, if championships, articles, even books come to pass, this greatest of honors, none could surpass.