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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Unlimited Potential:Saquan Thompson by Randy Millard

Randy Millard, one of our Community Planning Partners, is also a Freelance Journalist for different media outlets in the city such as NYHoops.com and Bounce Magazine. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of his blog The Brownsville Journal, which is located on Wordpress.com (The Brownsville Journal).

This is one of his pieces of work that was featured on NYHoops.com. This is about Saquan Thompson who was a great kid and a talented basketball player. Saquan was from Brownsville.

Read this people!

Unilimited Potential: Saquan Thompson  by Randy Millard

The game of Basketball builds friendships, bonds, brotherhoods, and lastly lifetime memories. In New York City, we New Yorkers cherish this game. Basketball dominates New York City. We love The World’s Most Famous Area that is better known as Madison Square Garden. We love the wars on the cracked asphalt in the parks. We love the friendly neighborhood dogfights when someone makes a “bad” call in a heated game. We love New York City High School Basketball. Saquan Thompson played New York City High School Basketball.

Saquan Thompson played at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School with McDonald’s All-American Jayvaughn Pinkston and Branden Frazier who is currently doing a good job at Fordham University. Even though he was “shadowed” by those two All-City standouts, if you knew Saquan Thompson, you knew he could’ve been a candidate for All-City at any High School institution in New York City. Saquan was freakishly athletic. Saquan was a great on the offensive and defensive glass. Saquan played hard every game he checked in. Saquan cheered his team on while he was on the bench yearning to display his talents on the floor.

Saquan Thompson played like where he was from…he was from the neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn. He carried the Brownsville motto on his back. Saquan never ran and if you knew him, he never will.

Who would have thought the last memories I would have of him was at I.S. 218 in East New York. We were playing in a Spring League and I said to him, “Yo Sa! You don’t have it no more!” Saquan simply laughed at my comment and caught a dunk that silences the whole entire gymnasium. Saquan looked at me and said “Cmon son! You’re from the hood…you know (laughs).” I subbed him out because I felt like he tried to show me up (laughs).

Every time we would always share a laugh or two. I have memories of this kid being the BIGGEST KID on the court when he was playing for I.S. 323 in the Dorothy L. Rice Junior High School League at the Brownsville Recreation Center. I was even more proud of him when he told he was graduating from Bishop Loughlin this past June. That is a great accomplishment for a kid from Brownsville. Being from Brownsville is a different kind of struggle.

Saquan Thompson turned 18 years old on November 26th. He got to see the age of 18 years old but did not get to see the year of 2011. He was murdered on December 22nd. When I received the news, I couldn’t believe it because he was such a good kid. It really me when I seen him in the casket at the funeral home where his wake was held. I couldn’t even cry. My tears turned into smiles because he had impact on my life. Being from Brownsville and watching him grow up was so cool. I was one of the guys he interacted with. Saquan always showed me love. We would just joke around.

We must value life. There are 24 hours in a day. A split second or the next the movement on the clock can change your life tremendously. I know people who coached Saquan Thompson can tell you how much potential he had to be anything he wanted to be in life. People can tell how funny he was. People can tell you about the little temper tantrums he had as a promising 7th Grader at I.S. 323. Saquan Thompson was a great kid.

As lovers of the game of basketball, value your teammates and coaching staff. You would never know the last time you will learn a valuable lesson from your coach or the last time you’re going to pass the ball to your teammate.

Our sentiments and regards go to the family and friends of Saquan Thompson. Hold your head people.

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