2019 Year In Review: Top Sports Stories

Green climbed through the NBA D-League and signed with the Spurs in 2011. He won his first NBA championship in 2014 with the Spurs and after being traded to the Toronto Raptors he won his second this past season. (Photo courtesy of St. Mary’s)

Anton Media Group featured some of the most prominent names in local and national sports, as well as behind-the-scenes coverage of teams and events that shaped a great year in athletics.

Lots of local teams opened their doors to our writers to chat with coaches and players about their experiences. In March, former Long Island Nets coach Will Weaver sat down with Long Island Weekly to discuss a strong season for the Nets two years into their existence. They ended up falling just short of the NBA G-League championship title, and Weaver has since taken a coaching job in Australia.

In April, the executives, coaches and players of the New York Excelsior discussed being the first professional e-sports team representing the New York area. The Overwatch-centered organization provided insight into its creation, and players discussed what it is like competing as a higher tier e-sports athlete. The team finished the 2019 season 22-6, but did not win a championship.

Aaron Dennis is in his seventh season as a professional player and his first year with the New York Cosmos. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Levine/New York Cosmos)

In May, we attended a practice at the Nassau County Mitchell Athletic Complex, where the New York Cosmos were in the early stages of their season. Coach Carlos Mendes and star forward Aaron Dennis discussed the resurrection of the team and how they’ve been preparing to recapture the hearts of local fans with how they play. Through their spring league and the NPSL Members Cup, they had a combined 2019 record of 20-1-3.

When August came around, NFL training camp got underway and Anton was there to preview the New York Giants and New York Jets seasons. We talked to the likes of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, Golden Tate and Quinnen Williams as we looked ahead to each team’s respective campaigns, which will end with no playoff appearance for either team.
There’s also plenty of other great individuals that got caught attention over the course of 2019.

George Steinbrenner IV, for example, talked with us in June about how he was able to form the Harding Steinbrenner Racing team for the Indianapolis 500 and the entire IndyCar Series season at just 22 years old. He also discussed how he may, down the line, take ownership of the New York Yankees from his father and uncle.

Adam Fox on the ice (Photo by Dave Gil de Rubio)

In September, LIW was there as Danny Green hosted his basketball camp in North Babylon, returning to his home town and reflecting on his journey from a Long Island high school athlete to becoming a Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard. His coach at Saint Mary’s High School, Tim Cluess, also discussed having Green transfer to the Manhasset school.

Jericho native Adam Fox of the New York Rangers sat down with us in October as he discussed being bounced around before landing in Madison Square Garden and how he was looking forward to playing with the blue shirts. MSG Network’s Dave Maloney also touted the young prospect, who has 16 points on the season thus far.

Kyle Busch won his second NASCAR Cup Series championship in November, and he took the opportunity to talk to us about it less than 48 hours after the checkered flag fell to cap off his season. He talked about achieving the feat affected him and his family, plus how he is looking at life a little differently now that he is a 34-year-old father.

Anton also had three special issues revolving around the athletic world. In May, we previewed the PGA Championship in our golf special section. We chatted with director Scott Reid and CBS Sports golf analyst Peter Kostis, as well as looking at the history of Bethpage Black. The end of June saw LIW transform into a celebration of the 1969 New York Mets, 50 years later. Ed Kranepool, Art Shamsky and Ron Swoboda reflected on an run that went down in history.

September saw the first-ever “Island Sports” special section, which included interviews with Mets pitcher Steven Matz and Paralympian Mikey Brannigan. The section also showcased some of the outstanding high school athletes in the area.

Christopher Birsner
In addition to being the editor of the Massapequa Observer and Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald, Chris Birsner is the sports editor for Long Island Weekly and often contributes gaming articles to the arts and entertainment publication.

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