Staten Island is quite possibly New York’s most forgotten borough. A place where there simply isn’t too much to do, and even less to celebrate – and with so few activities, and attractions within the borough, local Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso become huge sports fans, and even find themselves rooting for one of many local high schools on the island. Sports has always been a big thing for the people of the borough, and practicing, rooting for, and playing sports has been a big release for many of us over the years. With so much time to focus on sports, its no wonder Staten Island is home to a huge number of professional athletes, in a wide range of sports. From NFL stars, Major Leaguers, basketball players, and even racquetball phenoms – Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso have been treated to a number of different local super stars getting their chance to play with some of the best in the world in their respective fields. When asked what he though about it Frank Camuso responded, “Staten Island is an interesting place to grow up. While there wasn’t much to do here over the years, a few things were always the same. Growing up family was always important, and for a lot of us our family’s influence is what kept us out of trouble. An idle mind is a bad thing, and playing sports provided a release for many of us growing up. The ones who focused on it the most became the stars, and it makes you proud that they come from the same place you did.” So without further ado, here are a few of the most popular Staten Island natives to make it big in professional sports.
· Bobby Thomson
A favorite of Frank Camuso, despite being a few years before his time – baseball fans will always remember the famous highlights of Bobby Thomson’s home run, “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World”. A member of the New York Giants in the 40’s and 50’s, Thomson had one of the best careers of any player who played post-WWII.
· Nicky Anosike
Nicky was an inspiration for women and girls in Staten Island for years, with her outstanding play for St. Peter’s Highschool. She went on to be a superstar for the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, wining two national championships in her four years! She also played in the WNBA for 5 seasons.
· Jason Marquis
One of the best pitchers to ever come out of Staten Island, the right handed phenom was the 35th overall draft pick immediately out of Tottenville HS in 1996. He went on to start in the World Series for the Cardinals, and made an All-Star team in his time. He was inducted into the SI Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
· Adewale Ogunleye
Another Tottenville HS alum, Ogunleye was a star defensive end in both the NFL and during his time at Indiana University. Frank Camuso was a huge fan during his years at Tottenville, as well as during his time on the Chicago Bears professional team. Was a Pro-Bowl selection in 2003, and helped the Bears make the Super Bowl in 2007.
· Joe Andruzzi
And a 3rdTottenville alum, Andruzzi was a star offensive lineman for the Huguenots and entered the NFL as a free agent, after spending time at the division II college football level, at Southern Connecticut State. Andruzzi was a part of 3 Super Bowl winning teams with the New England Patriots during their amazing run in the early 2000’s.