Running Into Frantz Pierre-Louis…Posted by rtmsf on January 27th, 2009
Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the NEC and MAAC Conferences.
IRVINGTON, NJ – Never know who you will meet up with. The past weekend did not bring any games to go out and cover but there were officiating assignments. On Saturday morning was a grade school doubleheader at the Good Shepherd Academy in Irvington. Worked the two girls games which were followed by the boys. After my games I spoke with a gentleman who arrived at half time of the second girls contest. Frantz Pierre-Louis, a dominant Northeast Conference player in his late nineties days at Wagner, was there to watch his son who plays on the 5-6th grade boys team.
Pierre-Louis had a great career at Wagner and we spoke of his days in the NEC when teams were chasing the likes of LIU with sharp shooting Charles Jones. “I really enjoyed the league,” Pierre-Louis said. “I saw a lot of double teams (even occasional triple teams) but it was a great time.”
At 6-8, around 250, and highly skilled it was no surprise opposing defenses keyed on him. It was also no surprise his basketball career continued at a high level following the Wagner days. Pierre-Louis played almost a decade following college. He had a cup of coffee with the Boston Celtics but spent most of his career in Europe. His favorite stop? “Istanbul,” he said. “It’s a great city. They have a good political structure and the fans are incredibly passionate about basketball.”
Pierre-Louis played for Tim Capstraw whom he stays in touch with. He even speaks frequently and very highly of Capstraw’s successors Dereck Whittenburg, now at Fordham and Mike Deane. “Mike (Deane) cane be a character,” he said, “but he can flat out coach.” He speaks with Whittenburg and Deane on a regular basis as well. There is no surprise Pierre-Louis looks back and stays in touch with his former coach and those who followed at his alma mater. Beside taking great joy in seeing his son play, Pierre-Louis coaches at the Nia School, a powerful prep school in Newark. Nia is second rated in New Jersey Preps behind national power St.Benedict’s about a half mile or so up the road. Pierre-Louis is on the sidelines for the oft quoted reasons, love of the game, working with young people etc. But there’s more. “Kids see me as a tangible,” he said. “They dream of doing something I did (play pro ball) and I’m there to help show them the way.” And if the pros do not work out the Nia student/athletes can look to Pierre-Louis for the guidance of making it in life.