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Timmy Leary’s Magic

Thursday, March 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Graziano
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Timmy Leary’s Magic
Reading your story about the death of Timmy Leary, an old friend and teammate, reminded me of a story about him that has stuck in my memory for fifty- five years.
 In 1963 Timmy and I played CYO basketball for St. Rose of Lima a parish in the Parkville section of Brooklyn. Although Timmy lived in Immaculate Heart of Mary parish he was able to play for us because they had no team.
We were a very successful team but one Sunday afternoon in March of 1963 we were playing in the Our Lady of Angels tournament and losing to the host team with about forty seconds left when Leary did his magic.
We had just scored but that still only cut their lead to five points.  When OLA inbounded Timmy stole the ball and as he laid it in he was fouled. Without a bit of nervousness, he calmly hit the foul shot.
That was great to watch but the amazing part was just getting started.
On OLA’s next inbound attempt Timmy stole the ball again and was again fouled as he laid the ball in. After he hit the foul shoot we led by one point. 
But there was still about twelve seconds to go when --- you guest it Timmy Leary stole the third consecutive in bound attempt and started to dribble out the clock. I was standing at our fouled line when he passed it to me. Not wanting to do anything but seal the win I just stood there and held the ball as high over my head as I could.
Before the other team realized I wasn’t going to do anything but hold the ball the final buzzer sounded and it was over. We won with the most exciting finish any of us would ever be involved in.
I spend my winters in Florida these days so I can’t attend Timmy’s wake or funeral, but I will never forget my friend Timmy and the magic he did on one Sunday afternoon in March of 1963.
If you can get this story to Tara, Timmy and Claudia’s daughter, I think she and the rest of Timmy’s family would enjoy hearing it.
Thank you
Kevin Collins