Albany Patroons improve to 4-0, beat Columbus 127-121, and I HAVE A RING!!

Before Saturday night, I had two rings in my possession, two rings that I hold dear to my heart.

One ring is my high school ring, a ring from the Street Academy of Albany, a symbol of achievement when the whole world seemed against me.

One ring is my NBL Canada championship ring, awarded to me by the Windsor Express in celebration of their 2014 NBL Canada championship win.  I treasure this ring as a symbol of my long-standing work in minor league and independent basketball.

Last night was ring night in the Washington Avenue Armory, as the Patroons celebrated the 2019 TBL Championship season with commemorative jewelry.  Five players from last year’s squad – Jordan Robertson, Jerel Scott, Anthony Moe, Alonzo Murphy and Shadell Millinghaus – all received their championship gold, as did head coach Derrick Rowland.

Oh, and before the ceremony, one of the Patroons’ staffers – sales man extraordinaire Rocco – gave me my championship ring.

This ring was manufactured by Baron Rings, who manufactured championship rings for the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as for the London Lightning in the NBL of Canada, as well as for Raptors 905, Toronto’s Gatorade League affiliate.  And look on the side of the ring.

That’s my name.  That’s my name on an Albany Patroons championship ring.

The first person who pinches me and wakes me up from this dream, I’m going to punch them right in the nose.

And check this out … the ring fits.

This is incredible.  I am amazed and humbled and grateful throughout.  Thank you to the Albany Patroons front office and staff, Coach Derrick Rowland and all the players who have come through the Armory all these many years.  It’s been an amazing experience and this ring means the world to me.

Just like my Street Academy and NBL/Windsor Express championship jewelry.

And the staff of the Albany Patroons must be thanked for all their hard work.  That includes everyone from announcer Mike Favro, to my broadcast partner John Longton, to sound man DJ Nas-T, to the stat and table crew, to the vendors, to the dance team, to the box office people, and all and above.  They are as much a part of the heart and soul of this team as are the players and coaches.

Oh, and to cap things off, the Patroons played a very spirited and tight game in front of a nearly packed Armory, as they defeated the visiting Columbus Condors 127-121.  Shadell Millinghaus snagged a triple double, Anthony Moe added a double double, and rookies Deon Lyle and Kwintin Williams teamed up for some slick alley-oops and slam dunks.

The Patroons get a two-game road trip next week, then they’re back at the Armory on the 29th to face the Lewisville Yellow Jackets.

Damn this season feels awesome.