PRINCETON: League veteran is still hoops force

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
In his nearly two decades in the Princeton Recreation Men’s Summer Basketball League, Shahid Abdul-Karim has become as much a fiber of the league as anyone who has ever played.
The Princeton High School graduate first played in the league as a member of the PHS team 19 years ago. He’s still going strong now in his mid-30s, helping Ivy Inn contend for a league championship.
“I just come out here and enjoy the time out here,” said Abdul-Karim, who has remained in the community as police officer in Princeton. “If I am open, I’ll shoot it. But other than that I am the wisdom on the court.
“I am still enjoying it. I take off work sometimes to get here. It is good to come out here and be a part of the community and get up and down the court with these young guys. That is my motivation.”
Abdul-Karim scored eight points on Monday night, helping Ivy Inn to a 49-44 win over Clarke Insurance. Newcomer Justin Conway led the scoring with 16 points, while Skye Ettin had 12 and Tai Crutchfield added eight. Abdul-Karim hit a pair of three-point shots in the game and was his usual steady presence on the court in the win.
“I’ve played with Bobby (Davison) and Darius (Young) and Mark (Aziz) and Kyle (Brown) for a long time,” Abdul-Karim said. “Kyle and I won a championship with Where2Ball back in the day. That was one of the most improbable runs to the championship in league history.”
Abdul-Karim has won titles with Ivy Inn and hopes the team can make another run this year. But win or lose, just continuing to be a part of the league he grew up in is the most important thing.
“It has always been something to look forward to,” said Abdul-Karim, who has also helped out the Princeton High School boys basketball program as an assistant coach for more than a decade. “Being a Princeton guy and this being part of the community, the young guys keep me going. I have to keep going. I gave my boy, Tai Crutchfield, a call this summer. I played with him at Mercer. He’s probably the best player I have every played against and with. I got him out here. It’s a joy to get back on the court with him.
“This is the only league I play in. And then coaching at the high school, I try to play some with the kids. I am always happy to volunteer my team with the kids and give back to the community. I enjoy coaching basketball.”
And he still enjoys playing in Princeton, 19 years after he started on the courts at Community Park.
In other action on Monday night, Majeski Foundation topped Dr. Palmer, 65-47, as Bobby Brackett scored 16 points, Kevin Johnson had 10, and Jordan Glover and Eric Klacik each added nine. Kurt Simmons scored 14 points and Chris Edwards added 10 in the loss. King’s Pizzarama topped Pediatric Physical Therapy, 54-35, as Terrence Bailey and Trey Murrill scored 16 points apiece. John Barber had 16 in the loss 16.
On Wednesday night, in a battle of unbeaten teams, Majeski Foundation topped Jesse Krasna Hoops Training, 63-57, in overtime. Brackett led the way with 15 points, while Eric Klacik had 13, Jordan Glover 12, and Corey Stanford added 11. Tim Guers had 19 points and Jesse Krasna added15 in the loss. Clarke Insurance topped Dr Palmer, 47-38, as Davon Black scored 15 and Max Alton added 12. Cliff Pollard had 13 points and Chris Edwards added 10 in the loss. King’s Pizzarama topped Rogue’s Gallery, 57-47, as Terence Bailey scored 14 points, Ryan Johnson had 13, and Kris O’Connor added 10. In the loss, Kenny Gan scored 16 and Jeff Dzierzawiec added14.
Last Friday night, Rogue’s Gallery topped Pediatric Therapy Solutions, 48-45, as Dzierzawiec scored 21 points. Bert McCallum had 15 and Nick Brackett added 13 in the loss. Krasna Hoops Training topped King’s Pizzarama, 55-46, as Guers scored 15 points, Chase Kumor had 12, and Kyle Green added 11. Terence Bailey had 12, Kris O’Connor 11, and Ryan Johnson 10 in the loss. 