intro by Sam Rubenstein
Well, this should be “different.” You know me as the former online editor of this website, and one of the two creators of the SLAMonline Top 50 Players list, which became an annual thing. The origins of this legendary tome are ancient mysteries, whose true nature shall never be revealed, for it would drive men to madness.
Or, Lang and I went to lunch at Outback to watch a Mets-Braves game and he jotted these names down on paper whilst we gorged.
Flash to the present, and much has changed. As many of you know, I became a teacher, and right now I am the 9th grade English Language Arts teacher at a school on the Canarsie High campus in Brooklyn. When it was time to write the Top 50, I asked if I could have Amar’e, and if my 9th graders could write it. As Khalid once said, “Sam luuuuuuv da kiiiiids.”
(He also once said “Donovan McNabb is the QB of my football team.” Sorry, I had to go there.)
Today, in three of my 9th grade ELA classes, I explained what the Top 50 is, showed my students an eclectic mish mash of Amar’e videos, ranging from basketball highlights to him discussing his newly discovered spirituality, and I gave them time to write 10 sentences each about Amar’e.
Another one of my responsibilities is to teach my students how to communicate in a dignified and respectful manner. Even with complete internet strangers! I am only using their first names to protect their identities, but we will be reading this on our classroom Smartboard on Friday.
OK, enough of me talking. This feels like class. Here are some choice selections.
Amar’e Stoudemire by Mr. Rubenstein’s 9th graders
When Amar’e plays, he is violent and strong. – Britniy
Amar’e Stoudemire’s love for history is something I can relate to greatly. – William
Amar’e is a very spiritual person, with the Star of David on his hand. – Lascelles
Amar’e is confident in his abilities. – Steeve
Amar’e is very tenacious. – Stephane
He cares that children should get a good education, to have a good future. – Kevon
He loves to dunk on people. – Miguel
He is one who likes to celebrate after dunking. – Tristen Dr
Amar’e was thought to be a troublesome kid because of his constant school changes. – Tristen Dr
Amar’e Stoudemire is a very strong, aggressive, and committed basketball player. – Whitney
Amar’e is a Jewish beast – Shaquan (Note to Shaquan: there is a double-meaning at play here. We will discuss in class).
Amar’e loves to play ball. – Tiara
Amar’e started playing basketball when he was 14. – Alex
Amar’e played with Steve Nash for six years. – Kurone
Amar’e has dark skin. – Sean
He is all about school but he still jokes and plays around – Kevin
Amar’e Stoudemire loves to dunk and he is a MONSTER when it comes to basketball. – Rahim
Amar’e Stoudemire is a very energetic, spiritual, and caring person, apart from his life as a basketball player. – Nikki
He went to six different high schools. – Jose
He is way more mature than he was before. – Anthony
Amar’e’s favorite move is the pick and roll, then tries to dunk on someone. – Tristen Du
Amar’e doesn’t back down from anyone. – Terrence
Amar’e has a son. – Kazinur
Although he had his downs, he got back up and started out new, by changing his jersey from number 32 to number 1, showing a new beginning. – Rosemarie
He is looked upon as a leader by his team. – Louis
When he’s not playing ball, he’s working with “Each One, Teach One.” – Kendley
Amar’e is tall, buff, and educated. – Seriah
Amar’e was suspended because he was trying to see if Nash was ok. – Seriah
I think Amar’e will have a good year in New York and take them to the playoffs. – Ramshar
On a basketball court, he is rough and abusive. – Moise
Amar’e is focused on basketball and being the best player he can be. – Lemeek
Amar’e went to Israel to study about another part of him that he wanted to learn about. – Ataya
Where is my man Rondo? – Nasir
Amar’e likes it when the teacher makes school fun. – Nick
Amar’e played in Phoenix, and moved on to New York. – Jean
The reason why he does things for charity and to help schools is because he doesn’t want what happened to him in school to happen to others. – Wilton
|SLAMonline TOP 50 PLAYERS||OVERALL RANK||POSITION RANK|
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’10-11 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jeremy Bauman, Maurice Bobb, Erildas Budraitis, Sean Ceglinsky, Ben Collins, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Manny Maduakolam, Eddie Maisonet, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Charles Peach, Branden Peters, Quinn Peterson, David Schnur, Todd Spehr, Kyle Stack, Adam Sweeney, Dennis Tarwood, Tracy Weissenberg, Lang Whitaker, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.