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Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017: Huge freshman makes his U.S. basketball debut

   Leading off today: Catching up on some developments from the past week:

   A real BMOC: Seven-foot-7 freshman Robert Bobroczky made his high school basketball debut Thursday for an Ohio school.

   Bobroczky played limited minutes for Geneva (Ohio) SPIRE Institute in an 87-51 loss to First Love Christian Academy from Washington, Pa.

   "The game was as fast as I expected and I still need to work a lot. I just have to be patient and work, and the results will come," the 16-year-old from Romania said. "I'm mostly trying to get my body stronger and better."

   Bobroczky left home at the age of 14 and played in Italy for two years before arriving at SPIRE. He is fluent in four languages and carries a 4.0 grade-point average. His 7-1 father played for the Romanian national team.

   Cross country coaches honored: Corning's Ray Lawson (boys) and North Rockland's Brian Diglio (girls) have been selected as the New York State winners for the The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) coach of the year award.

   One boys coach and one girls coach from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia were selected by a committee of experts from around the nation.

   Lawson led the Corning boys to a state championship in November and won the fifth consecutive Section 4 title. Led by two freshmen, North Rockland placed second to Fayetteville-Manlius at the NYSPHSAA championships.

   On the move: Lake George's Joel Wincowski, the leading boys basketball scorer in Section 2 history, left the University of Maryland-Baltimore County between semesters and has transferred to Division III Bard College.

   UMBC made a coaching change after Wincowski's freshman season, during which he played 10 minutes a game and averages a point a game. He appeared in four games this season, averaging seven minutes and 2.5 points.

   The 2015 NYSSWA Class C player of the year scored 2,615 points in his scholastic career.

   Derrick Gore, an all-state player at Syracuse Nottingham in 2012, announced he is leaving the University of Alabama.

   Gore, a redshirt sophomore who saw action mostly on special teams the past two seasons with the Tide, did not indicate where he was looking to enroll.

   Gore played one year apiece in prep school and junior college before enrolling at Alabama.

   Section 5 solution: Reversing a previous decision resulting from a scheduling glitch, Section 5 will play its boys large-school basketball final at the downtown Blue Cross Arena, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

   Section 5 boys basketball chairman Jack Purificato said the Class AA semifinals and final will be played at BCA on March 1 and 6. The other class finals will be held at various high school and college gymnasiums.

   BCA traditionally held dates open in early March for Section 5, but the high school organization found out last year that it would be bumped this winter by a concert, three pro basketball games, two AHL hockey contests and a lacrosse game jammed into the March 2-5 period. With high school basketball now OK to bookend those dates, the arena will feature its busiest stretch of activity in recent memory.

   Though scheduling the Class AA final for Monday might be unprecedented locally, Purificato was facing the possibility of only being able to sell 2,000 or so tickets at a college for a McQuaid-Fairport semifinal or final that could easily draw 6,000 fans downtown.

   Rank 'em: reached out to some area coaches and ADs to assemble a gallery of the 50 greatest players in Central New York football history this week, resulting in well over 150 reader comments, complaints and suggestions.

   I had the top three figured out (though No. 2 and 3 were out of order) and 10 of the top 20 -- not bad for an out-of-towner. I don't think I'm spoiling it for very many of you by saying Onondaga legend Mike Hart landed in the No. 1 spot, but you can click your way through the whole list at your leisure.

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