Boys & Girls already excelled under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, winning its first city championship in 31 years March 6. Thursday, March 18, the Kangaroos faced another kind of lights – national television beams.
Appearing on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” Boys & Girls set a Universal Record Database world record in a comedic bit. The team’s five starters – Mike Taylor, Leroy Fludd, Leroy Isler, Antione Slaughter, and Jeffland Neverson – held hands in a circle as a record 35 basketball were stacked between them by teammates, breaking the previous mark of 34, in 90 seconds.
“It was teamwork — what we’ve been doing all year long,” coach Ruth Lovelace said.
Later in the show, Fallon was dumped in a giant tub of Bloody Mary mix, and the players took shots on a make believe hoop. Fallon also congratulated Lovelace on becoming the first female coach to win a PSAL boys title. They all left with regulation basketballs with the comedian’s signature.
“Awesome experience,” assistant coach Elmer Anderson said. “From a championship to a million people watching Boys & Girls High School on the Jimmy Fallon show. It doesn’t get any better.”
Lovelace said she had never seen the show and Taylor, the highly recruited junior guard, said he had only seen a few clips before that. “Tonight I will watch it,” he said.
The team also met Gene Simmons of KISS, one of the show’s other guests, afterward. Actress Lucy Liu appeared on the show, too. Slaughter, the Kangaroos’ point guard, engaged in an off-screen tongue-twirling contest with Simmons, the bass guitarist. The team was given its own dressing room and treated to pizza and drinks in the green room beforehand.
“It’s unbelievable,” Lovelace said. “You play for a championship, but you don’t realize what comes with a championship. It’s been very exciting. There are so many things we’ve done and so many more things to come.”
The next memorable moment has to be this week, as Boys & Girls received keys to the city from Mayor Bloomberg on March 25.
The Kangaroos, who are hoping to raise money for championship rings and jackets, aren’t yet done with basketball, however, as they travel upstate this weekend to Glens Falls for the New York State Federation tournament.
“We’re making history all throughout the year,” Taylor said. “This has never happened before. Everybody in the world is going to see us.”