"...I never seriously considered hanging up the sneakers...The game was my addiction, and I wasn’t seeking a cure."

The author’s fascination with basketball began in the seventh grade with the arrival of Coach Aaron (Venty) Lieb. Coach Venty, as he was affectionately called, made a convert of young Groveman to the “religion of basketball” by teaching the moves. The class practiced layups, dribbling, and weaving, not just trying to score baskets. From that point on, Groveman hardly ever passed up being on a court. As a teen he played at community centers; as an adult, he played at clubs with unofficial groups. Early on he was disadvantaged by being short and a lefty. But by the time he reached high school, he was 5’ 9” and filling out. He was a starter on that team and a master of the lefty hook shot.

Groveman earned money for college during the summers by waiting tables at resorts for the wealthy in the Catskills where he met his future wife. After college, the author worked in the New York school systems as a guidance counselor and a principal. His career spanned 33 years. Although Groveman never made the NBA, his dedication to basketball resulted in induction into the CCNY Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.

The book has the rapid-fire quality of this lefty shooter, coming across as if watching the players in person. Those unfamiliar with the game can learn much about the plays and strategies of basketball. Team photos add flavor, but an index would make the book useful as a reference tool. This 258-page local memoir can serve as a “Who’s Who” in New York City area basketball from 1949 onward. The author has an amazing recall of the facts, stats, and tidbits of fellow players. Groveman challenges the youth of NYC and elsewhere to never give up on achieving goals that bring a sense of accomplishment and joy.

Return to USR Home