It all started in Fall 2006 at the Hofstra University Recreation Center. Max Margulis decided to enter a team into the upcoming Intramural 5v5 Basketball League. He had no prior coaching experience, no players and no name for his team. When the standings were posted on the wall, his squad was listed as "Max's Team". Margulis put up flyers looking for players, did some scouting at the Recreation Center and lucked into a backcourt moments before tip-off of their first game. That night, a group of players got together and won a basketball game by the skin of their teeth. Max's Team went 4-2 in the regular season, won a playoff game, advanced to the semifinals and finished 6-3 overall. The team was led by former Division III forward, Terry Henderson (Colby-Sawyer) and featured five freshmen (Edore Ohimor, Ethan Ruda, Jose Amor, Kaheem Evans and Mickey Tempone). Junior guard, Alex Wolf, was a key contributor as well along with a couple of fill-ins (James Dowdell, Mike Leslie and Mike Shtifter). At the end of the season, Margulis asked his players if they wanted to rename the team for the future. They all declined, deciding to keep the name "Max's Team". However, in October 2006 the legendary Red Auerbach passed away. So, the team became Max's Auerbachers from that point on.
In Fall 2007, Margulis was determined to build a championship team. He recruited one of the best bigs available (Anthony Vitolo) while also adding Ben Leavitt, Fernando Signorelli and Ian Van Doren to join a group of returners (Jose Amor, Kaheem Evans, Edore Ohimor and Ethan Ruda). With the additions of Vitolo and Leavitt leading the way, Max's Auerbachers advanced to the Intramural 5v5 Basketball Championship Game, played at Hofstra's Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex (home of the varsity basketball program). It was a great thrill to compete there, but the team fell short, finishing the season 5-2.
In Fall 2008, Max's Auerbachers added the missing pieces to their championship puzzle - guard, Eric Olsen and forward, Mike Viola. They joined returners Jose Amor, Ben Leavitt, Ethan Ruda and Anthony Vitolo along with newcomers Jack Swanson, Mike Berrouet, Sabbir Liakat and Rafael Benoit to form a dominant team that finished 8-0, won every game by double-digits and finally clinched the Hofstra Intramural 5v5 Basketball Championship. The team was rewarded with t-shirts and dufflebags for their efforts. After the championship game was over water was dumped on Coach Margulis and he was carried on the shoulders of his players.
Hofstra Club Basketball (2008-2009)
During that same Fall 2008 semester, Hofstra Club Basketball began operation and played their first games. The 2008-2009 Inaugural Season saw Hofstra Club Basketball finish 11-18, going 3-1 in the 2009 Boston University NCCS Regional Basketball Tournament and playing all but two of their games on the road. Hofstra Club Basketball's roster featured many of Max's Auerbachers and a number of other talented players, including Patrick James, Marek Chmielowiec, Kevin Cheddie, Nikola Djurdjevic, Andrew Black, Darryl Harvey Jr and CJ Nicastro among others. Two future NCAA basketball players were also on the roster - Dipanjot Singh, who would go on to play for UIC (Division I, 2009-2011) and UMass-Lowell (Division II, 2011-2012) while Billy Harkins would go on to play at Springfield College (Division III, 2009-2011).
An 8-game losing streak to end the 2008-2009 season for Hofstra Club Basketball left a sour taste in Coach Margulis' mouth and inspired him to start a summer league team at the 92nd Street Y. Playing in the B-Division, Max's Auerbachers took home their second championship, finishing with a 7-3 record. The roster featured nine Hofstra students - Patrick James, Therron Scott, Dale Johnson, Mike Berrouet, Nelson Jimenez, Rafael Benoit, Marek Chmielowiec, Nikola Djurdjevic and Darryl Harvey Jr (plus Ariel Bautista from Queens College). In the championship game, Max's Auerbachers took down the previously undefeated Team #2 Eric K - Carolina Blue in overtime.
Hofstra Club Basketball (2009-2010)
Riding the momentum of their Summer 2009 92Y Adult Basketball League B-Division Championship, Max’s Auerbachers returned to campus for the 2009-2010 Hofstra Club Basketball campaign with high expectations. The team improved from 11-18 to 20-20, winning the Fall 2009 Island Garden AAU Adult Recreational League Championship, reaching the 2010 Boston University NCCS Regional Basketball Semifinals and being recognized with a 2009-2010 Hofstra Student Leadership Award for Most Improved Sports Club of the Year. Blake Newman, Kevin Dexter, Nelson Jimenez (who transferred after the Fall 2009 semester), Sean Heil, Quraan Davis and Peter Singh were the most important additions for the team that year – joined by returners Ben Leavitt, Kevin Cheddie, Marek Chmielowiec, Mike Viola, Nikola Djurdjevic and Patrick James (who transferred after the Fall 2009 semester). Together, this group had one of the most successful seasons of any basketball team to ever represent Hofstra University – doing so while playing all of their games off-campus.
After graduating, Coach Margulis entered a team into the Summer 2010 Basketball City Tuesday-Thursday Central B-Division. The roster featured 10 current or former Hofstra students. After a 2-3 start, the team finished 6-4 – winning a playoff game and reaching the semifinals, but falling short of another championship.
Now graduated and no longer enrolled, Margulis spent the Fall 2010 semester trying to keep Hofstra Club Basketball together. A new coach, Rebecca Levy, was hired and joined by a few returning players among a lot of fresh faces. Margulis continued scheduling games, handling the finances and occasionally recruiting players – but he missed being at the games, on the sidelines with the players. So, in Spring 2011 he got the band back together – Darryl Harvey Jr., Eric Olsen, Mike Viola, Nikola Djurdjevic, Patrick James and Therron Scott were joined by fellow Hofstra alums Daniel Phillips, King Pommells along with Reed Morgan (Tufts) and Mike Klein (South Carolina). Now known as Max’s All Stars, the team would go on to win the McBurney YMCA Adult Basketball League Championship with an 8-2 record.
The current incarnation of Max’s All Stars got together in Summer 2011 – transitioning to a higher level of competition, joining the Basketball City Tuesday East A-Division. Patrick James recruited some of Purchase College’s finest – Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Jerrell Lewis and Marvin Billups Jr. They were joined by some of the Spring 2011 McBurney YMCA champions – Eric Olsen, Mike Viola, Nikola Djurdjevic and Reed Morgan. Also, Denzil Davis, Earl Mills, Jason Lewis, King Pommells, Malachi Peay, Nigel Byam and Troy Whittington made appearances during the season – but Max’s All Stars struggled, finishing 2-6. Despite the sub-.500 record, Max’s All Stars showed promise – finishing with an average point differential of only -6.25 while playing most of their games with only five players. Also, Corey Orgias (14.75 PPG) and Jerrell Lewis (10.5 PPG) finished Top 20 in scoring.
In Fall 2011, Max’s All Stars joined two leagues – the 92Y A-Division and NY Alumni Sports. The team also added a few significant new pieces – Ronnie Worthen Jr and Purchase College alums – Angel Gonzalez, John Simmons and Kevin Major. They joined mainstays Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Eric Olsen, Marvin Billups Jr (who returned midway through the season from a stint playing professional basketball in Puerto Rico), Mike Viola, Patrick James and Reed Morgan while Earl Mills, Jamine “Greedy” Peterson, Jerrell Lewis and Malachi Peay also made appearances throughout the season. However, it took a while for everyone to gel and develop chemistry, leading to 0-6 start at the 92Y. Despite that, Max’s All Stars got hot after Thanksgiving – winning six straight games in both leagues combined, including two 92Y playoff games to reach the championship where they suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss. Max’s All Stars finished the Fall 2011 season with a 10-10 overall record, reaching the 92Y Adult Basketball League A-Division Championship Game and clinching the #2 seed in the NY Alumni Sports Adult Basketball League. Most importantly, Max’s All Stars proved that they belong.
In Spring 2012, Max’s All Stars returned to the 92Y Adult Basketball League A-Division with high expectations. The team added two impact players – streetball star, "Super" Dave Seagers and former Wagner College big man, Mike Orock (who unfortunately suffered a season-ending injury after the first game). Seagers gave Max’s All Stars a real boost along with Angel Gonzalez, Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Kevin Major, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James and Ronnie Worthen Jr (plus appearances by Kevin Young and Mike Viola) – the team finished 9-1, suffering another heartbreaking championship game defeat by a single point. Still, Max’s All Stars put forth a dominating effort that season – winning 7 out of 9 games by double digits.
Also, that season Max’s All Stars competed in the Showcase NYC Spring Showdown. BJ Warrington, Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Derrick Stanton, Eric Olsen, Mike Viola, Patrick James, Ronnie Worthen Jr and Therron Scott played in the one day tournament, helping the team go 4-1 and reach the championship game. The roster united past and present members from Hofstra University and Purchase College.
Max’s All Stars joined two leagues during Summer 2012 – the 92Y Adult Basketball League A-Division and the Gun Hill Classic Open Division. The team got off to a 9-2 overall start, including a 7-game winning streak from June 30th through July 24th. Returning players Angel Gonzalez, BJ Warrington, Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, David Seagers, Derrick Stanton, Kevin Major, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James and Ronnie Worthen Jr were joined by newcomers Carlos Valdez, Darryl “Truck” Bryant, Kirk Williams, Stefan Bonneau and Tim Morris who played with Max’s All Stars at Gun Hill along with a couple of other fill-in players. Darryl Crawford also joined the team at the 92nd Street Y. Despite the hot start, Max’s All Stars lost a few key players and faltered down the stretch, finishing 10-7 overall (including a loss in the opening round of the 7th Annual Gardiner Memorial Basketball Classic Tournament). Despite not accomplishing their ultimate goal, Max’s All Stars did earn the respect of their peers among the NYC basketball community.
Max’s All Stars competed in the Fall 2012 92Y Adult Basketball League A-Division, finishing 7-3 and reaching the championship game for the fourth consecutive season. Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, David Seagers, Jason Lewis, Mahamoud Jabbi, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James and Ronnie Worthen Jr played hard all season long and proudly represented Max’s All Stars. Darryl “Truck” Bryant, Jamine “Greedy” Peterson and Noah Levine made guest appearances during the season as well. The highlight of Fall 2012 took place during the fifth game when Max’s All Stars scored 100 points, including 38 from Super Dave in just his second game back from a prolonged absence.
In Winter 2013, Max’s All Stars joined the Riverside Classic Unlimited League. The roster featured returning players Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Dave Seagers, Marvin Billups Jr and Patrick James. However, there were some big changes to the roster as Adrian “A-Butta” Walton, Alexus “Flex” Foyle, Giovanni McLean, Tyshawn “Body Wide” Valentine and Troy Whittington were added. However, only Whittington lasted the whole season and midway through Anthony Gill, Mike Orock and Troy Marcus joined the team. After struggling in the regular season, Max’s All Stars won two playoff games, knocking off the #1 seed and advancing all the way to the semifinals despite a constantly evolving roster. Max’s All Stars finished with a 4-4 record.
In addition, the team traveled to Boston for the 14th Annual Full Court Charity Challenge in support of Nashoba Learning Group and The Lurie Center for Autism, charitable organizations which provide education, therapy and other services to individuals afflicted with autism. BJ Warrington, Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Dave Seagers, Derrick Stanton, Patrick James, Reed Morgan and Troy Whittington led the team to the semifinals where they lost against the defending Corporate Division champions, Shire (who featured two members of the Villanova Wildcats 2009 Final Four team - Frank Tchuisi and Shane Clark). Max’s All Stars ended the one-day tournament with a 4-1 record while continuing a proud Hofstra Club Basketball tradition of traveling up to Boston and competing.
In Spring 2013, Max's All Stars joined Harlem4Life. The roster featured returning players Corey Orgias, David Seagers, Marvin Billups Jr and Patrick James. Notable returning players Branden Gibson, Reed Morgan and Ronnie Worthen Jr all made guest appearances as well as Kevin Briggs of the Hudson Valley Kingz, Kevin Loiselle of the Windsor Express and Troy Marcus from Arkansas Tech. Some of NYC's biggest names such as Aaron "Problem" Williams, Anthony "Africa" Pimble, Darryl "Truck" Bryant, Kiwan Smith and Rob Thomas also played for Max's All Stars in Harlem4Life, helping the team reach the championship game and finish with a 7-2 record.
In addition, Max's All Stars competed in the Showcase NYC Spring Showdown for the second consecutive year. This time it rained, so Max's All Stars won the first two pool play games on May 18th before winning three single elimination games on June 1st - taking the tournament championship with a perfect 5-0 record. Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Craig Davis, David Seagers (Tournament MVP), Derrick Stanton, Kiwan Smith, Mike Viola, Patrick James and Rob Thomas all contributed to the championship - claiming the $1,000 grand prize and trophy.
In Summer 2013, Max's All Stars competed in two very prominent NYC streetball leagues (both sponsored by Nike) - Kenny Graham's West Fourth Street and the Watson Basketball Classic. It was an up and down season for the team, but they did win a few big games along the way. Max's All Stars clinched the #2 seed at West Fourth Street with a 6-2 regular season record, but lost in the first round of the playoffs against Diamond. The team struggled at Watson, finishing the regular season 2-4 after some very close losses and barely clinching a playoff spot. However, they upset the defending champions, Sean Bell, in the first round of the playoffs - advancing to the semifinals. During the season, Max's All Stars featured some of the best players in NYC - Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Darryl "Truck" Bryant, David Seagers, Doug Herring, Kiwan Smith, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James, Rob Thomas and Stefan Bonneau among many others. Carl Gibson served as an assistant coach and the team was supported by some great people such as John Simmons, Kevin Johnson, Kevin Young, Shayla Diaz plus the friends and family members of all the players. The team finished Summer 2013 with a 9-8 overall record.
Also in Summer 2013, Max's All Stars launched a Lady's Team! Featuring Chelsea Williams, Jalicia (JC) Connell, Janina Martinez, Jasmine Davis, Kenyatta (KiKi) Sears, Kia Wright (MVP), Rich Fields (Head Coach), Shahna-Lee James, Shayla Diaz (Captain) and Talia Beaulieu - Max's Lady All Stars won the Summer 2013 Lightning in the Bronx Championship! The team clinched the #2 seed in the playoffs, finished with a 6-2 record and took home the title!
On October 12th, 2013 Max's All Stars won the Fall Hoops Showdown Championship with 3 dominating victories at Hooperstown in Mount Vernon. The first one came against the defending champions, Blue Team, by a final score of 66-32. Then, after a long 2.5+ hour break, the team was in the semifinals against the Red Team - winning 53-40 to clinch a spot in the championship game against the Black Team. After a 3-point shooting contest, the championship game finally took place and Max's All Stars went on to defeat the Black Team by a final score of 47-26 to take home the title and $1,500 cash prize! Angel Gonzalez, Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Doug Herring (who was named Most Valuable Player), Kevin Pegram, Patrick James, Rob Thomas and Shaun Diaz worked together and played hard to finish the day 3-0. Also, Coach Carl Gibson was instrumental being vocal with the players and referees. It was a total team effort and a great day for Max's All Stars!
To start off 2014, Max's All Stars competed in the Showcase NYC Winter Classic where they reached the semifinals and finished with a 6-2 record. The roster featured Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, John Simmons, Kevin Pegram, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James and Rob Thomas while James Wang, Kevin Young, Melvin Calhoun and Troy Whittington all made guest appearances. At the end of the season Gibson, Pegram, Billups and Thomas were named to the Showcase NYC Winter Classic All Star Game.
On June 7th, 2014, Max's All Stars won the Spring Hoops Showdown Championship by winning three games at Peter Minuit Playground on Park Avenue between 108th & 109th Street. This marks a repeat championship for Max's All Stars after they won the Fall Hoops Showdown in October 2013 at Hooperstown. In the first game, Max's All Stars defeated the Gray Team by a final score of 53-34. Then in the semifinals, they defeated the Blue Team (who featured Nick Smith and some of Upstate NY's finest) by a final score of 37-30 - setting up a championship game rematch against the Black Team. Just like in the Fall though, Max's All Stars dominated in the final game - winning by a score of 52-39 to claim the $1,500 prize and repeat as champions. Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Doug Herring, Kevin Pegram, Marvin Billups Jr, Rob Thomas, Shaun Diaz and Stefan Bonneau (who was named MVP for his efforts) all played hard and worked together throughout the day to secure the championship for Max's All Stars.
Summer 2014 was a roller coaster for Max's All Stars. The team struggled mightily at times while playing in three leagues - Kenny Graham's West Fourth Street, Tri-State Classic and Gun Hill Classic. It could be argued the Max's All Stars might have overextended themselves during the Summer of 2014 as they finished with an 8-13 overall record. The team performed best at Gun Hill where the league showed them love (for the most part), but they fell short in a heartbreaking and controversial semifinals loss. During the summer, Max's All Stars was led by returning players Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Doug Herring, Kevin Pegram, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James, Rob Thomas, Shaun Diaz, Stefan Bonneau and Troy Whittingon. However, there were a few new additions who stood out and made a positive impact as well - Cory Quimby, Daniel Wohl, Joshua Smith, Rashawn Veada, Stace Daniels and Terric Harris. In addition, Max's Lady All Stars returned to Lehman College to defend their Lightning In The Bronx championship from Summer 2013, but they did not fare much better than the men's team. After suffering through a winless regular season, Max's Lady All Stars still qualified for the playoffs somehow and won their first round game before falling in the semifinals. Despite their struggles this summer, it marked the 3rd consecutive summer that Max's Lady All Stars reached the Lehman College Lightning in the Bronx semifinals. One of the few bright spots during the Summer of 2014 for Max's All Stars was the creation of Shayz Dayz by Shayla Diaz. She was accompanied by Randy Torres as the two filmed all of Max's All Stars games while covering all of the best leagues/tournaments in NYC. Shayla and Randy were among many who showed Max's All Stars love. Family and friends of the players came to support the team throughout the summer - Carl Gibson, Connie Perry-Lassic, Janina Martinez, Jason Lewis, John Simmons, Justinne Rodriguez, Kevin Johnson, Kevin Young, Lev Raslin, Rich Fields and Shahna-Lee James are just a few of the many people who stuck with Max's All Stars through thick and thin.
Spring 2015 represented a new beginning for Max's All Stars. The team joined a new league (ABC Hoops) and added two new players (Daniel Jacas and Spencer Smith). Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Daniel Jacas, Doug Herring, Jason Lewis, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James, Spencer Smith and Troy Whittington dominated ABC Hoops - finishing undefeated (10-0) and winning the championship. Max's All Stars won nine out of the ten games by double digits and it was a total team effort from top to bottom. Everyone contributed throughout the season and Troy Whittington was named MVP for his efforts. The team finished undefeated despite not being at full strength until the championship game because all the players bought in. All the guys stepped up when called upon. Everyone stayed focused, determined and motivated throughout the season to help lead Max's All Stars to glory. Click here to watch highlights from the semifinals and championship game courtesy of Shayz Dayz.
The Basketball Tournament (TBT) 2015
After finishing with only 52 votes in 2014, Max's All Stars qualified for The Basketball Tournament (TBT) as an at-large bid with 290 votes in 2015. The bracket was released on July 1st and Max's All Stars was seeded #18 out of 24 teams in the Northeast region. Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Damion Staple, Dominique Jones, Doug Herring, Kevin Pegram, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James, Troy Whittington, Shaun Diaz and Stace Daniels went to Philadelphia and upset the #9 seed - TYGTAL (who featured former NBA player, Mardy Collins) in the first round by a final score of 75-68. In the second round, Max's All Stars battled against #8 seed - 20th & Olney (an alumni team from La Salle University comprised of players from their 2013 NCAA Sweet Sixteen run) but fell short by a final score of 87-80. It was an incredible experience for Max's All Stars that will definitely serve as a positive step in the right direction for the team.
Watch videos from Max's All Stars TBT 2015 run:
Max's All Stars had a memorable and much improved summer at Kenny Graham's West Fourth Street. The team increased their win total from last year and returned to the playoffs. All this despite having 27 different players suit up in just nine games (with 14 out of those 27 making their Max's All Stars debuts). Also, only 10 players appeared in at least three games. Branden Gibson, Bryant Crowder, Corey Orgias, Dominique Jones, Elon Howard, Joshua Smith, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James, Rob Thomas, Shereef Taylor, TJ Curry and Troy Whittington were the key contributors throughout the season. Some of Max's All Stars highlights at West 4th included defeating the 2014 Nike Pro City Champions (TNP) and taking over the All Star Game with Max Margulis coaching the West Division to a win, led by TJ Curry's 27-point MVP performance.
Max's All Stars also repeated as champions of ABC Hoops, finishing undefeated (10-0) for the second consecutive season. Doug Herring won Summer 2015 ABC Hoops MVP after leading the league in PPG (24.0) and finishing second in FG% (0.654). Spencer Smith was the third leading scorer in the league (20.5 PPG) and finished with the highest FT% (0.857). In fact, Max's All Stars led the league in PPG (68.0) - well above the league average (52.4). Throughout the season, everyone contributed and stepped up when called upon. Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Daniel Jacas, Doug Herring (MVP), Herman Billups, Jason Lewis, John Simmons, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James, Spencer Smith and Troy Whittington all stayed focused, determined and motivated while working together and playing unselfish basketball en route to another undefeated championship season at ABC Hoops.
In October 2015, Max's All Stars started hosting youth basketball workouts at P.S. 64 Robert Simon School (600 East 6th Street, New York, NY). Through December 20th, 2015, Max’s All Stars hosted nine workouts and had 28 total participants between the ages of 11-17 years old. Corey Orgias, Jason Lewis, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James and Troy Whittington served as our primary coaches. They ran some strength and conditioning warm-ups, focused on important drills to teach the fundamentals and ended each workout with a competitive scrimmage. Some of our other notable players have stopped by to impart their basketball wisdom as well. On December 20th, 2015, Max’s All Stars hosted their first ever 15u youth basketball scrimmage game against the East Side Escalades, dropping a tough game in overtime by a final score of 42-36.
Max's All Stars continued hosting workouts in January, February and March 2016 at P.S. 64 Robert Simon School (600 East 6th Street, New York, NY). On March 6th, Max's All Stars hosted a scrimmage doubleheader vs the NY ISS Flightz - losing the first game, 43-38 and winning the second game, 43-30. Click here to read the recap. During this period of time Max's All Stars partnered with ABC Hoops to start a youth basketball league set to begin in late-April/early-May 2016. Our workouts helped determine who would make our roster for ABC Hoops as we chose the most reliable and committed members of the team.
Max's All Stars continued hosting workouts in April, May and June 2016 at P.S. 64 Robert Simon School (600 East 6th Street, New York, NY). On May 1st, Max's All Stars helped tip-off the Spring 2016 ABC Hoops Junior Basketball League - playing in the inaugural game vs Boys & Girls Republic. It was a season full of ups and downs, but we learned a lot and gained valuable experience in real game situations. For many of our players, this was their first time competing in a real organized basketball league and they made a tremendous amount of progress. Darryl Ottley, Justin Cardenas, Keone Billey, Keshaun Cameron, Luke Duggan, Malek Graham, Rameik Golden, Ricardo Velez, Sandeep Singh, Savdeep Gill, Sean Eustace, Stewart Talleyrand and Travis Sukdevsingh all worked hard together and made valuable contributions throughout the season. The coaches (Corey Orgias, Jason Lewis, Patrick James and Troy Whittington) did a great job teaching our participants, preparing them for the games and leading them. Max's All Stars won their first round playoff game vs Flightz on June 19th, reached the semifinals and finished the season with a 3-4 overall record. Click here to watch all the full game highlights from the Spring 2016 ABC Hoops Junior Basketball League.
Max's All Stars Youth Basketball Program finished Summer 2016 with a 4-7 overall record competing in two leagues - Foster Park Sports Youth Basketball League Senior Division (15-17 age range) and Heart For The Game Youth Sports 16u Basketball League. It was an up and down summer for our youth basketball program. We won a couple of big games, but also suffered through some tough losses. However, it was a valuable learning experience for our coaches (Corey Orgias, Jason Lewis, Patrick James and Troy Whittington) and participants (Darryl Ottley, Elian Davis, Karl Charles, Keone Billey, Keshaun Cameron, Marco Bazile, Rameik Golden, Savdeep Gill and Travis Sukhdevsingh). Max's All Stars also continued hosting workouts at P.S. 64 Robert Simon School for most of the summer and they were very well attended.
Max's All Stars men's team returned to action after almost a full-year off, rejoining the 92Y A-Division for the first time since Fall 2012. The roster featured Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Doug Herring, Herman Billups, John Simmons, Kevin Major, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James, Shereef Taylor, Spencer Smith and Troy Whittington. After a 3-0 start, it looked like Max's All Stars would coast to the championship. However, two shorthanded losses in a row woke the team up in the middle of the season. From that point on, Max's All Stars would win five in a row en route to claiming the long overdue and well deserved championship title. During that five-game run to close out the season, Max's All Stars had a +100 point differential (323-223, average margin of victory: 20 points). Max's All Stars overcame plenty of adversity along the way. Corey Orgias was unable to finish the season due to injury and Doug Herring left right before the playoffs to play professional basketball in Uruguay for Defensor Sporting Club. However, Max's All Stars stayed focused, determined and motivated. Different guys stepped up throughout the season to finish with an 8-2 overall record and capture the 10th championship in team history.
Max's All Stars also resumed hosting youth basketball workouts at a new location (P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep School, 281 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001). Four of our participants (Justin Cardenas, Keshaun Cameron, Sandeep Singh and Travis Sukhdevsingh) made their high school junior varsity basketball teams.
On March 11th, 2017 Max's All Stars traveled to Boston and competed in the 18th Annual Full Court Charity Challenge Corporate Division. We finished 4-1 and reached the semifinals. We went undefeated in pool play with wins over CTE-4-Three (32-25), Brickhouse (61-45) and Raptor (58-30). Then we won our first round playoff game vs Pay2Play (39-23) before falling in the semifinals vs the defending champions, Instinet, in double overtime by a final score of 48-46. The semifinal game was tough. We got off to a slow start, but overcame a nine-point deficit to go up by seven before Instinet fought their way back to force overtime. The officiating was horrendous in the semifinal game, but fatigue was also definitely a factor. Despite falling short of our goal, there is a lot to be proud of. Max's All Stars battled all day despite missing a few key players. We played hard, worked together and overcame plenty of obstacles just to make the trip and have the opportunity to compete in this great tournament. Also, in the second game of the day Max Margulis recorded career win #200 of his coaching career. This is a very significant milestone in the combined history of Hofstra Club Basketball and Max's All Stars. So many great players have contributed to 200+ wins and 10 championships over the past 10+ years. Here's to many more! Thank you to Corey Bingham, Corey Orgias, John Simmons, Kevin Young, Marvin Billups Jr, Nate Jackson-Gause, Patrick James, Shereef Taylor, Spencer Smith and Troy Whittington for making the trip and competing. Shout out to Nashoba Learning Group and Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center for hosting a wonderful tournament. Thank you to ARTEMIS, Inc. (Yuly Margulis) for sponsoring our team and to everyone who reached out and supported us while we were in Boston! We are tremendously grateful for all the love!
Max's All Stars joined the NYC Basketball League Allen Street (Advanced) Division for the Spring 2017 season. Our roster featured Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Herman Billups, James Wang, John Simmons, Kevin Major, Marvin Billups Jr, Patrick James, Shereef Taylor, Spencer Smith and Troy Whittington. Each of these players stepped up during various points of the season and had a defining moment along the way as Max's All Stars finished with a 9-1 record and won the championship game at Barclays Center. Some guys had to make sacrifices, but everyone on the team worked hard, played together and made valuable contributions during this championship season. Max's All Stars overcame some extremely questionable officiating and a challenging game schedule throughout the season, but kept fighting to accomplish our goal. Winning the championship game at Barclays Center was a thrill and we will always cherish this moment. Thank you to all the players, our many supporters throughout the season and everyone who showed us love at our games.
For the Fall 2017 season, Max's All Stars joined East Harlem Hoops where we finished 6-1 and captured the twelfth championship in team history. Every championship won is unique and meaningful, but this one is extra special. It's bittersweet because some of our core players weren't able to participate, but we were fortunate to have some new fresh blood join our team and keep us going. The championship game was a dogfight. In the first half, Max's All Stars got off to a good start and led by as many as 10 points. However, the Orange Team fought back and led by two at halftime. The second half was a back and forth affair. Late in the second half, Max's All Stars led by five points. The Orange Team came back to tie and the final minute was pure insanity! Both teams hit big shots down the stretch and there were a few lead changes that led to a dramatic ending. Max's All Stars took possession of the ball with 12.5 seconds left down by two points. Spencer Smith drove to the basket and kicked it out to James Wang who knocked down a HUGE three-pointer that gave Max's All Stars the lead for good with 1.5 seconds remaining. It was executed to perfection - just like we drew it up! The Orange Team heaved a long desperation three, but it was nowhere near the mark and Max's All Stars prevailed! So many guys contributed to this championship and paved the way for us to seize this opportunity. James Wang, John Simmons, Kaheem Davis, Nikola Djurdjevic, Patrick James, Spencer Smith and Troy Whittington all worked together and played hard to earn this championship. It was an all-around complete team effort. Everyone stepped up and played a major role during this incredible run. Max's All Stars also got contributions this season from Branden Gibson, Damion Staple, David Seagers, Herman Billups, Jon Veloz, Kevin Major, Kevin Young, Marvin Billups Jr and TJ Curry. Thank you to all the players and members of our team who were part of this huge win and our journey getting here!
On Saturday, March 10th, 2018 - Max's All Stars won the 19th Annual Full Court Charity Challenge Corporate Division Championship held at the Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center. Our team went 6-0 en route to winning the title! We did so with only seven players (Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Jason Lewis, Kaheem Davis, Nikola Djurdjevic, Patrick James and William Davis) for the first four games. Then Spencer Smith arrived and joined us for the semifinals and championship game, giving us the jolt of energy we needed to see this thing through. Branden Gibson won MVP and deservedly so, but this was truly an all-around team effort. Everyone stepped up and had an opportunity to contribute and shine. Branden did a little bit of everything - scoring in a variety of ways (3's, mid-range, post-up) and distributing the ball. Corey and Jason hit some clutch shots and stepped up as vocal leaders. They were basically playing and coaching. PJ locked up as always and was one of our primarily ball handlers. He did a great job. Nikola had a block party. Nobody could score on us down low. He also pulled down a ton of rebounds and scored a bunch underneath the basket. The Davis brothers, Kaheem and William, provided size and athleticism. They did a little bit of everything - attacking the basket, stretching the floor and playing aggressive defense. Spencer came in motivated for the final two games. He hit a bunch of 3's and also drove to the basket and finished with ease. We couldn't accomplish this without all these contributions. Some of the guys were still learning how to play with each other when the tournament started, but as the day went on we made tons of progress in a short period of time. It's amazing how smart veteran basketball players can come together and make it work the way our team did. Thank you to all the players for making the trip and leaving it all out on the court. Thank you to Bob Forlenza for organizing a great tournament as always. Big thank you to ARTEMIS, Inc. (Yuly Margulis) for sponsoring our team. It is an honor to compete in this tournament in support of the Nashoba Learning Group and the Lurie Center for Autism. Also, shout-out to Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center for hosting this great event. Nearly a decade after Hofstra Club Basketball made their first trip to Boston for the NIRSA NCCS Regional Tournament, Max's All Stars continued the tradition and finally brought a championship back to New York. This is the thirteenth championship in team history.
On July 28th, 2018 - Max's All Stars hosted our first annual Hall of Fame Game at Julia Richman Education Complex. Patrick James and Corey Orgias were the team captains. The roster for Team PJ was Damion Staple, David Seagers, Doug Herring, Kevin Pegram, Nikola Djurdjevic, Patrick James (Captain), Shereef Taylor and William Davis. Team Corey's squad featured Angel Gonzalez, Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias (Captain), Jason Lewis, John Simmons (Jay Simms), Kaheem Davis, Kevin Major, Marvin Billups Jr and Spencer Smith. It was a highly entertaining and competitive game! Both teams played great! Team PJ defeated Team Corey by a final score of 123-114. Doug Herring and Marvin Billups Jr were named co-MVP. After the game Patrick James, Corey Orgias, Branden Gibson, Marvin Billups Jr, Doug Herring, Spencer Smith, Rob Thomas and Troy Whittington were inducted into the inaugural class of the Max's All Stars Hall of Fame. Thank you to everyone who participated - all the players, family and friends who came through to show us love and support. Thank you to Indoor Hoops for providing the gym rental; ABC Hoops for bringing referees, scorekeepers and a photographer; Lifestyles Sports for the jerseys; Crown Awards for the MVP trophy and Athletic Awards Company for the Hall of Fame plaques. Special thanks to Sadia Alrobaie, Mandy Figueroa, Janiris De Jesus, Justinne Pegram, Elizabeth Palega, Chelsea P. Freeman, Shayla Diaz (Shayz Dayz), Shaun Diaz, Carl Gibson, Nat Harris and Jerrell Lewis for coming through as well.
On December 2nd, 2018 - Max's All Stars won the 2nd Annual ZogSports DC Jingle Ballin' Winter Hoops Classic in Washington, D.C.! It was a very fun weekend for our team in the nation's capital! On Saturday night (December 1st) we attended the Washington Wizards game and on Sunday (December 2nd) we competed in the tournament at Saint Albans School. Branden Gibson, Chuck Thompson, Corey Orgias, John Simmons, Kevin Johnson, Marvin Billups Jr, Nikola Djurdjevic, Patrick James and Shereef Taylor all played hard and went 5-0 to claim the championship. Max's All Stars defeated Terps (51-47), Snowmen Brigade (46-41) and Fannie Pack (49-33) in pool play then took down Fannie Pack again in the semifinals (40-33) and Terps in the championship game in (57-53). This is the 14th championship in team history. Thank you to all the players for making the trip and bringing home this championship! Also, thank you to Hope Allen and ZogSports DC for hosting a great tournament!
The ZogSports DC Jingle Ballin' Winter Hoops Classic Champions do not receive a cash prize or a trophy or t-shirts or anything like that. Instead the winning team gets to make a contribution to the charity of their choice. As champions, Max's All Stars is proud to make a donation to the Red Auerbach Youth Foundation. In recognition of our tournament victory and as a thank you for our charitable contribution Red Auerbach's nephew, Mr. Stewart Grossman presented us with this statue (autographed by Red Auerbach himself) - the same one given to the NBA Coach of the Year every season. Thank you Mr. Grossman, Hope Allen, Zog Sports DC and most importantly all the players who took part - Branden Gibson, Chuck Thompson, Corey Orgias, John Simmons, Kevin Johnson, Marvin Billups Jr, Nikola Djurdjevic, Patrick James and Shereef Taylor. Max's All Stars only played in two tournaments this year and won them both. One in Boston where Red Auerbach is a Boston Celtics legend and the other in Washington, D.C. at the very same school his basketball coaching career began (Saint Albans). Max's All Stars proudly dedicates these two championships in honor of Red Auerbach. He remains a constant inspiration for our team.
On Saturday, March 16th, 2019 - Max's All Stars won the 20th Annual Full Court Charity Challenge Corporate Division Championship held at the Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center. Our team went 5-1 en route to repeating as champions! Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, John Simmons, Kaheem Davis, Marvin Billups Jr, Nikola Djurdjevic, Shereef Taylor, Spencer Smith and William Davis played hard, sacrificed and worked together to earn this title. After winning the first two pool play games with relative ease against Raptor (38-21) and Pay2Play (54-41), it looked like Max's All Stars would coast to another championship. However, a loss in the third pool play game against CTE-4-Three (37-33) served as an important wake-up call for our team that helped us refocus and lock-in. In the fourth pool play game, Max's All Stars defeated Cross Insurance by a final score of 58-50. At the end of pool play, three teams were tied for the top-2 seeds with a 3-1 record. Brickhouse earned the #1 seed, leaving Max's All Stars and Instinet to shoot it out for the #2 seed. The tiebreaker was a three-point shooting contest. Instinet shot the ball first and made it. Spencer Smith matched that made three-pointer. Then Instinet shot the ball a second time and missed. Spencer calmly nailed a three-pointer to clinch the #2 seed and all-important bye straight to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Max's All Stars defeated Cross Insurance for the second time by a final score of 49-28 to earn a spot in the championship game against Instinet. In 2017, Max's All Stars suffered a heartbreaking double-overtime defeat in the semifinals against Instinet. Two years later, we avenged that loss with a victory against Instinet in the championship game by a final score of 49-43. Winning vs Instinet definitely made this championship victory so much sweeter. Marvin Billups Jr and Spencer Smith were named co-MVP's. This is the first time in tournament history that two players shared MVP honors. It was tough to name one MVP though because everyone contributed and was a huge part of this championship. This was truly a total team effort. Thank you to all the players for making the trip and leaving it all out on the court. Thank you to Bob Forlenza for organizing a great tournament as always. Big thank you to ARTEMIS, Inc. for sponsoring our team. It is an honor to compete in this tournament in support of the Nashoba Learning Group and the MGH Lurie Center for Autism. Also, shout-out to Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center for hosting this great event. Ten years after Hofstra Club Basketball made their first trip to Boston for the NIRSA NCCS Regional Tournament, Max's All Stars continued the tradition and brought another championship back to New York. This is the fifteenth championship in team history.
On Monday, August 19th, 2019 - Max's All Stars hosted our second annual Hall of Fame Game at Basketball City. Marvin Billups Jr and John Simmons were the team captains. A draft was held on August 18th to determine the rosters for each team. The roster for Team Marvin was Damion Staple, Herman Billups, Kevin Johnson*, Kevin Young, Marvin Billups Jr (Captain), Patrick James*, Ronnie Worthen Jr, Shereef Taylor, Spencer Smith, Shereef Taylor and William Davis. Team John's squad featured Angel Gonzalez, Corey Orgias, Doug Herring, Jason Lewis, John Simmons (Captain), Kaheem Davis, Nikola Djurdjevic, Rob Thomas, Shaun Diaz and TJ Curry. * - Kevin Johnson and Patrick James were traded from Team John to Team Marvin for future considerations prior to tip-off. It was a highly entertaining and competitive game! Both teams played great! Team John took a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter, but Team Marvin kept fighting and overcame a seven-point deficit in the final minute. Down by three in the final seconds, William Davis hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game! In overtime, both teams exchanged baskets and after some controversial officiating the game was tied late. After Team John turned the ball over, Team Marvin got the ball back and called timeout with 00:01 left in overtime tied at 135. Shereef Taylor inbounded the ball to Herman Billups who hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game for Team Marvin! It was an incredible finish to an amazing game! Herman's clutch game-winning three not only clinched the win for his team, but also earned him the MVP award. He finished the evening with 21 points/4 rebounds/3 steals/1 block. After the game we inducted four members into the Max's All Stars Hall of Fame - Rob Thomas (Class of 2018, but was not able to attend last year) and our Class of 2019 - Shereef Taylor, John Simmons and David Seagers (who was not able to attend this year). These men have made a tremendous impact on Max's All Stars over the years and we are thrilled to recognize their achievements. They have all earned their place in the Max's All Stars Hall of Fame. Thank you to everyone who participated - all the players, fans, family and friends who came through to show us love and support. Thank you to Dave Schoenholt and Basketball City for providing the gym rental, referees, scorekeepers, filming the game and providing a championship trophy; Lifestyles Sports for the jerseys and CustomInk for the t-shirts; Crown Awards for the MVP trophy and Athletic Awards Company for the Hall of Fame plaques. Special thanks to Sadia, Mandy, Janiris, Denice, Sandra, Camry, Casey, Sarah Straub, the Gonzalez family, Kobe Smith, Carl Gibson and all the wives/fiancees/girlfriends/children/family members/friends/supporters for coming through as well. You guys are the absolute best! Love y'all!
On Saturday, October 19th, 2019 - Max's All Stars hosted a Family Day at Julia Richman Education Complex and it was a massive success! First and foremost, huge thank you to everyone who came through to celebrate and help put this event together! It was incredible to watch the next generation of Max's All Stars running around, shooting hoops and having fun. Seeing the kids become friends and playing together, all the guys and their families catching up - this is what it's all about! In addition to hosting this great party for the kids, Max's All Stars was also able to celebrate our back-to-back Full Court Charity Challenge Corporate Division Championships and finally receive our prize - Puma sneakers for everyone! Thank you to Bob Forlenza for making this happen and all his generosity towards our team over the years. We are extremely grateful! Thank you to Puma for the awesome Clyde Court sneakers! Thank you to Indoor Hoops for providing the gym rental! Appreciate everyone who took part in this great event!
Max's All Stars returned to ABC Hoops for the Fall 2019 season. However, the team struggled at times and finished with a 5-3 record. Our roster featured Branden Gibson, Corey Orgias, Herman Billups, John Simmons, Kaheem Davis, Marvin Billups Jr, Nikola Djurdjevic, Patrick James, Rob Thomas, Shereef Taylor, Spencer Smith and William Davis. This marked the end of some very impressive streaks for Max's All Stars - but also provided a renewed motivation to get back to our winning ways in 2020 and beyond.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, Max's All Stars has not able to participate in any leagues/tournaments this year. However, on October 24th, 2020 - Max's All Stars hosted an unofficial Hall of Fame Game/Open Run at The Post BK. Thank you to Indoor Hoops for allowing us to rent the court. Jason Lewis and Spencer Smith were our two captains. Obviously this was not a normal Max's All Stars Hall of Fame Game. Unfortunately, capacity was limited so we were not able to have all members of the Max's All Stars family take part. There were no spectators, no referees or scorekeepers - but this was still a very special event. It was the first Max's All Stars basketball event held in 2020. Getting everyone together, catching up and playing some basketball was extremely gratifying during these difficult times. It should be noted that all the necessary precautions were taken. The Post BK and Indoor Hoops had very strict COVID-19 protocols that we all followed. All players were pre-registered online, temperatures were taken and masks were worn at all times when we weren't playing basketball. This was a fun and safe environment. As far as the competition is concerned, Team Spencer faced Team Jason for five games (first to 15 points, 1s and 2s). Team Spencer won and the aggregate score was 75-58. Spencer Smith was named MVP. Thank you to everyone who participated - Angel Gonzalez, Corey Orgias, Jason Lewis, John Simmons, Justin Cardenas, Kaheem Davis, Keone Billey, Kevin Major, Marvin Billups Jr, Nikola Djurdjevic, Patrick James, Rishawn Johnson, Shaun Diaz and Spencer Smith. It was especially wonderful to see two members of our youth basketball program who are all grown up now - Justin Cardenas and Keone Billey. They are both outstanding young men and we look forward to watching/supporting their journeys.
Back on December 19th, 2020 - Patrick James organized an incredible surprise open run for my birthday! Generally, I don't write in the first-person on this page because it's really about our team - but on this occasion I have to. This was honestly one of the greatest birthday surprises of my life and I am beyond grateful to everyone who took part. This team photo (see below) is definitely one of my all-time favorites and it should be on display at the Musée du Louvre! I had the absolute best time with everyone and I can't thank you enough! As far as the competition is concerned, Team Marvin faced Team Kaheem for four games (first to 15 points, 1s and 2s). Team Marvin won and the aggregate score was 60-44. Thank you Patrick for organizing this and to everyone who came through - Corey Orgias, Doug Herring, Herman Billups, Jason Lewis, Justin Cardenas, Kaheem Davis, Keone Billey, Marvin Billups Jr, Shereef Taylor and Spencer Smith. Also, thank you to Angel Gonzalez, Kevin Young and Rob Thomas who couldn't be there, but still showed love. I love and appreciate you guys so much! I am so thankful that we did this!