Julian Boyd signs his first pro deal with Finnish team Porvoon Tarmo, completes comeback

Former LIU star Julian Boyd will return to the basketball court next season playing professionally in Finland after a multitude of setbacks. (Photo: Bob Dea)

This is one feel good story that would make anyone’s day. Former NEC Player of the Year and three-time NEC champion, forward Julian Boyd has completed his comeback from three ACL injuries to sign with Porvoon Tarmo in Finland.

Porvoon Tarmo is a team that plays in the Finnish First Division which actually their second-tier pro league.

The story here is of Boyd’s preservence and determination to continue his basketball career after multiple setbacks during his days at LIU which nearly ended his playing career. [Read more…]

Blackbirds at the 2015 Gotham Hoops Invitational Photo Gallery

This past Saturday, the good folks at Gotham Hoops put on the second annual Gotham Hoops Invitational for many of the local area seniors and recent graduate to participate and showcase themselves in front of prospective international pro scouts, player agents, coaches and more.

The Gotham Hoops Invitational took place at Adelphi University out in Long Island and four now former Blackbirds participated in recent graduates Landon Atterberry and Gerrell Martin, 2013 NEC Player of the Year Jamal Olasewere fresh off his pro season in Belgium and 2008 NEC Rookie of the Year and 2012 NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd who is making his latest comeback from three ACL tears that has had him sidelined for most of the last two and half years. [Read more…]

Three Blackbirds scheduled to participate in 2015 Gotham Hoops Invitational


The trio of LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds scheduled to play in the second annual Gotham Hoops Invitational on May 30th. (Photos: Bob Dea/BHJ)

It may be the offseason but for those who have exhausted their college eligibility, this time of year is where players look for opportunity to showcase themselves to get opportunities as they look to continue their playing careers playing professionally.

The second annual Gotham Hoops Invitational provides that opportunities to outgoing seniors and recently graduated alums to get in front of some professional scouts and coaches as well as agents. This year’s Gotham Hoops Invitational, put together by Ray Anczelowicz of gothamhoops.com, will take place on Saturday, May 30th at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY on Long Island. [Read more…]

LIU Brooklyn MBB Senior Day Gallery

Photo gallery of LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball Senior Day at the Steinberg Wellness Center on Saturday, March 1, 2014. All photos taken by Bob Dea.

Simply put, Thank You.

Saturday, March 1st. It’s the first day of the best month of the year, the start of March Madness. But this season, there was little joy to the start of the best time of the year. It was because we were getting ready to witness the end of magnificent run of success that had never been seen before in the NEC and could possibly not happen again for a very, very long time. Also, we were getting ready to see the end of a college career of one of the best players to ever to wear an LIU jersey, Jason Brickman.

Brickman came into his final collegiate game needing three assists to become the fourth player in NCAA history to reach the 1,000 career assist mark. He also needed 12 assists to become just the second player EVER in NCAA history to average a double-double in points and assists through a whole season.

It was Senior Day. A day to thank the seniors that gave their all to the program. Ironically, this Senior Day honored the final three LIU players remaining who has been around for all three NEC championship seasons.

It was a day to say thanks to Troy Joseph, who may or may not return for his senior season. It was a day to say a huge thanks to Julian Boyd who came to LIU in 2008 if you can believe that and was the foundation that help build the championship success on top of. If knee injuries hadn’t stolen the last two years of his eligibility away, he would have no doubt be sitting at the very top of both the scoring and rebounding lists in LIU Brooklyn history. It was a day to say another huge thanks to Jason Brickman. I can without a doubt in my mind say he leaves LIU as the all-time best point guard not just in LIU Brooklyn history but also in NEC history and one of the most underrated point guards in NCAA history.

Brickman had his parents come all the way from San Antonio to see his final game and also his brother Justin, who is a freshman guard on Bryant’s men’s basketball team, was there for Jason’s farewell. Brickman as he walked on to the court with tears in his eyes from all the emotion he was feeling, got a standing ovation from everyone in attendance.

The LIU players, the coaches, the administration, all wanted to see Jason Brickman go out with one more win to go along with all his various assists personal milestones. Unfortunately, with not much to really play for other than helping Brickman get these milestones after leaving it all on the court in Thursday’s heartbreaking loss to CCSU which eliminated them from going to the NEC tournament and with Bryant desperately needing a win to clinch a home game for the NEC Tournament quarterfinals, Bryant led wire to wire in a 81-62 loss in the season finale.

For most, the result of the game was secondary, most of the 1,357 people at the Steinberg Wellness Center was there to see Jason Brickman make history. Brickman gave the fans what they wanted with an kick out jump pass to Gerrell Martin who hit a left-side corner three at the 8:33 mark of the first half for Brickman’s 1,000 career assist becoming the first non-ACC player to reach this magical milestone.

Brickman finished the first half with six assists and needed six more to finish with a 10.0 assist per game average. With three minutes left to play, Brickman still had just nine assists. He was able to find E.J. Reed for a tough layup for assist #10 and then on the next possession found Troy Joseph for a layup for assist #11. With Brickman needing one more assist, LIU started fouling Bryant to get extra possessions to try and help Brickman get his needed twelfth assist. After a few tries and thanks to the gracious Bryant team and coaching staff, Brickman got a pass to Gerrell Martin who scored on a uncontested layup with 40 seconds left to get his twelfth assist. After the assist, Brickman was subbed out and received his second standing ovation of the game as he well deserved.

Brickman finished his career with 1,009 assists, fourth in NCAA history, first in NEC history and first in LIU Brooklyn history. His finished his senior season with 290 assists which matched the number of assists he had last season but in five fewer games. He finishes with a 11.3 ppg average and a 10.0 apg average as he gets the season long double-double.

“It was obviously something I was looking forward to. It was a great accomplishment for me.” Brickman said. “Just to do it at home in front of my family and in front of the crowd, it was really emotional for me. It was just a great night for me. Even though we lost, I feel that everyone kept fighting all year even though we’ve been struggling. I’m just proud of everyone.”

After the game, scores of fans wanted to say thanks and either get an autograph or take a picture with Brickman who was a bit taken aback by all the love, respect and admiration he got from everyone. “I had no clue that all these people were here to see me. It just makes me feel so great in my last game, all these people coming up to me. I’m just humbled to see everyone here out and congratulating me and wishing me success in the future. It’s a great feeling.”

“It has been a very emotional few days.” Perri said after the game after watching the point guard he helped recruit play his final game. “Certainly for me, for him, for a lot of these guys and a lot of the coaches and stuff. He is a kid that I recruited and feel in love with as a kid. Was he the most vocal leader, no. But he was one of the best leaders because you knew what you were getting with him every single day. He is a superstar. He is the best. I am so lucky that I’ve been able to be around the best point guard that has ever been around at LIU. I don’t think there has been anyone that has ever been as good as Jason Brickman. The best point guard in NEC history. Absolutely 100% and one of the best point guards that has ever played in college division one basketball. No question in my mind.”

Congratulations to Jason on his incredible milestones that probably won’t be touched by anyone else for quite a long time.

I want to put all the numbers aside. There will plenty of other posts likely coming out by other people breaking down all his numbers and his assists and what not.

As a fan, first and foremost, I really just want to say Thank You to Jason as well as to Julian and to Jamal and to C.J. and Jim Ferry and Jack Perri and every coach and player to have been a part of LIU’s three championship season the last three years before this current season. Those were tremendously joyous seasons. One would say we’ve been spoiled. We’ve been extremely lucky to have been able to experience it all. When you think we’ve seen the undefeated home season in 2011-12, the 9-0 in NEC tournament play in the last three years, the three NCAA tournament appearances, the numerous highlight plays, C.J. Garner’s incredible run late last season which propelled LIU to their third championship, back-to-back NEC Players of the Year with Boyd and Olasewere, all the “did you see that pass” from Jason Brickman, beating Robert Morris in the NEC final back-to-back years, this dunk…

I could go on and on but you get it. This was a magical three seasons. For that, I’m personally am thankful I got to witness all of it first-hand mostly all from the top row of the bleachers behind the LIU bench which I greatly missed this season. As bittersweet as the finality of this season coming to a close and going out with a losing record and seeing the amazing run come to an end, we all can’t complain. We had it really good.

Good luck to this year’s seniors. You’ll be missed and thank you, thank you, and one more time, thank you.

LIU Brooklyn MBB final game on Senior Day still has meaning.

Ok, we all know Thursday night loss to Central Connecticut State was rough. Beyond rough. Painful is more like it. We as LIU Brooklyn fans won’t get to see our beloved Blackbirds defend their three straight NEC championships. They will be missing the NEC Tournament for the first time since the 2006-07 season. It has been a depressing last several hours since the loss.

Last night, I and John Templon of Big Apple Buckets faced a devastated and defeated Jack Perri in the stairway of the Steinberg Wellness Center. Perri was at nearly a complete loss for words. I felt bad for him and for his team. It is obvious this season didn’t go as planned. It was obvious after losing five seniors to graduation and two All-NEC players from last season’s team that this season would be different from the last three years. Yet, it seems like after the first two games of the season, the train went off the rails and it was tough getting it back on track.

I can’t recall a season where there has been so many injuries for the Blackbirds. It was tough for Perri to gain any kind of cohesion especially with five new players on the roster. In just these five players alone, Julian Boyd, Nura Zanna, Chris Carter, Joel Hernandez and Gilbert Parga, they missed a combined 100 games this season. 100 games!! Not having Zanna and Boyd at all this season really hurt the competitiveness of this season’s LIU squad.

So comes this Saturday and the season finale for the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team. It is Senior Day and it will be the final game for senior Jason Brickman, grad student Julian Boyd, and redshirt junior Troy Joseph who is scheduled to receive his bachelor’s degree in May. Although there is nothing at stake for LIU as a team, it is still a meaningful game in a couple of ways.

This game is very meaningful for Jason Brickman. As we know, he is just three assists shy of being the fourth player ever to reach 1,000 career assists. With 13 assists, he will be the first player since 1988 to average a double-double in points and assists for an entire season. How remarkable is that?! He has been a steady rock at the point guard position since his arrival. He came with virtually no fanfare. People mocked his last name. Now he is leaving with everyone’s admiration, respect and appreciation for what he was able to accomplish in his four seasons at LIU.

We also need to show our great appreciation for Julian Boyd. Boyd was the first major piece to the championship puzzle and without him, there likely wouldn’t be three more years added to the NEC and NCAA championship banners hanging inside the Steinberg Wellness Center. Since we haven’t seen him play in over a year and a half we tend to forget his great talents and accomplishments. He brought confidence, a little cockiness, a desire to be great, great athleticism and highlights and moments that won’t be soon forgotten. He should be given as big an ovation as any LIU player has received. In my opinion, without Julian Boyd, there is likely no NEC three-peat.

Senior Day should still be a great day of celebration for two players that meant so much to this LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball program. They along with last season’s graduates Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner represented the core of this three-time NEC championship era and as we said good bye one last time to these LIU greats, let remember even though this season was a tough season for everyone to endure, those championships can’t be taken away from them or from us.

So let’s all go to the Wellness Center on Saturday and show our love and appreciation to these great seniors and then cheer on Jason Brickman to a record-breaking finale and hopefully see him and all the seniors go out with one last victory.

Julian Boyd will not return this season after tearing ACL third time, ending his LIU career

The great college career of LIU Brooklyn’s Julian Boyd comes to an end. (Photo: rushthecourt.net)

LIU Brooklyn Athletics today officially announced that sixth-year forward Julian Boyd will not be returning to the court this season thus effectively ending his brilliant LIU Brooklyn career. LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri revealed that Boyd re-tore his ACL for a third time on a non-contact drill as he was preparing to make his return for the NEC conference season.

Julian Boyd, who was granted a sixth-year of eligibility after initially tearing his ACL and meniscus diving for a loose ball in a game against Rice last season. Boyd then re-tore it a second time over the summer while rehabbing.

Boyd had been cleared to participate in limited practice in mid-December and all signs had been pointing to a miraculous return for Boyd in time for the start of the NEC conference season on January 9th against St. Francis Brooklyn before re-tearing his ACL once again on December 26 down in Texas as LIU was getting ready to play two road games in the lone star state.

Julian Boyd will go down as one of LIU’s all-time greats. As a freshman back in 2008-09, he was named NEC Rookie of the Year. Boyd didn’t start a single game that season in averaging 10.5 ppg and 6.4 rpg.

Boyd sat out the entire 2009-10 season as he was diagnosed with a heart ailment known as noncompaction cardiomyopathy and there was question whether or not he would be able return to the court ever again.

In 2010-11, Boyd was cleared to play and with a renew motivation and determination, he helped lead a talented LIU Brooklyn team to a 27-6 record and 16-2 NEC record on their way to winning their first of three straight NEC championships. He averaged 13.0 ppg and 8.9 rpg that season.

In 2011-12, Boyd was named NEC Player of the Year after a stellar junior season where he averaged 17.4 ppg and 9.3 rpg as LIU Brooklyn went 25-9 and 16-2 in the NEC for the second straight year and helped LIU win their second straight NEC championship.

He also had one of the plays of the year during the NEC championship game as he was on the receiving end of this incredible half-court alley oop pass from C.J. Garner:

Last season, Boyd played in eight games and was having another great season before his ACL injury. He was averaging 18.5 ppg and 6.1 rpg before his injury. In the game prior to his injury, he had one of the most memorable dunks of his career in a comeback win against Hofstra at home:

Julian Boyd finished his LIU career as their 11th all-time leading scorer with 1,467 points and sixth leading all-time rebounded with 843 rebounds.

For those who were unfortunate to not have watched this great player play in person, Julian Boyd for me, goes down as one of the greatest players to EVER wear an LIU jersey. He had a complete game. He could dunk it in your face with his incredible athleticism, he could turn around and hit the short jumper over you, he could drive to the basket and score, he could get to the free throw line and when the game was on the line he would usually make the big free throws, he could step back beyond the three-point line and bury the three. He had it all. He was unafraid to bang with his wide, strong frame. He once had a 20/20 game vs FDU with 21 points and 20 rebounds. He had 31 career double-doubles. He made the All-NEC first team twice. If it wasn’t for injuries, he would have been LIU’s all-time leading scorer without a doubt.

He wasn’t perfect. He made one bad mistake, getting involved along with three other teammates in a preseason on-campus brawl last season which temporarily got him suspended from the school and eventually got him suspended for two NEC games which he never got to serve due to his ACL injury. Other than that one instance, he never got in trouble and his coaches and teammates talked about him glowingly as a exemplary person. Every time, I chatted with him, he was always friendly, always willing to talk and was easy to chat with.

He was the first big piece to the LIU’s recent NEC dynasty brought in by former LIU head coach Jim Ferry. With him, Jamal Olasewere, C.J. Garner and Jason Brickman, they were one of the highest scoring team in the country. They ran with restless abandon, constantly scoring in the high 80s to 90s and even in the 100s.

Julian Boyd in the league like the NEC was as dominant as a big man there was. At 6’7″, 230 lbs. there weren’t many players in the NEC that could match up with him.

As a long-time Blackbirds fan, I would like to say Thank You to Julian Boyd for coming to Downtown Brooklyn and playing for LIU Brooklyn and staying around for six years and hanging tough through all the trials and tribulations of his career. In my heart, he goes down as not just one of the LIU’s all-time greatest but as one of the NEC’s all-time greatest as well. I feel fortunate to have watch this man play for my alma mater for 3+ seasons.

Good luck Julian Boyd in your future endeavors. Blackbird Nation is sad that they won’t get one more chance to see you catch an alley-oop dunk or grab a big rebound or hit a three from Jason Brickman. But you gave LIU Brooklyn all you had every night out and for that, we should all say thanks for helping put three more years on to the NEC Championship and NCAA Tournament banners hanging inside the Steinberg Wellness Center. We see you again when you get inducted into the LIU Brooklyn Hall of Fame in a few years.