Justin Rickert #21
Birthdate: February 17, 1981 Hometown: Shamokin, PA School: Penn State University
Position: Forward Height: 4’10″ Weight: 130
A new addition to the Towers towards the end of 2010, Justin can play any of the forward positions. His height and shooting ability make him a “dirk nowitzski” type player who can handle the low post and hit from the outside as well. Justin comes from a basketball family, his father is a high school basketball coach, and his sister played four years in college. The Towers welcome Justin to the team and look forward to his contributions.
Player and VP of Marketing and Public Relations
Actor, Producer, Comedian, and Writer, now turns his energy to the court as a player and VP of Marketing and Public Relations for the National Champion New York Towers. Nic’s involvement with the LPA goes back to year he was born, where his parents embraced the organization from the beginning of his life. As Nic grew up and developed a love of sports, he became part of the Towers in their early years, circa 2003, where they made an epic run to win the DAAA championship at the LPA Convention in Boston. 6 years later, Nic teamed up with best friend Clinton Brown to bring the Towers back to the promise land. After one year back on the map, Nic has helped Clinton get the fundraising done that they needed to get several key players to Nashville to capture the gold. Nic with the help of his comedian friends have given their time and efforts to produce “Laughs for Little People” a 2 hour stand up special at Governor’s comedy club. This yearly event helps the Towers tremendously and Nic looks forward to continuing his work with the team for a long long time.
The Towers are delighted to have Nic on board and we urge you to catch him this coming fall in Martin Scorsese’s HBO hit new show Boardwalk Empire!
Updated Dec 26, 2010
President & General Manager: Clinton Brown III
Head Coach: Pat Fava
No. – Name – Pos. – Hometown
1 Foster, Blaze Tres PF/C Monroeville, PA
3 Tompkins, Justin G New York, NY
4 Horton, Johnathan G Riverhead, NY
7 Cassella, Christopher SF Broadheadsville, PA
8 Waful, Jeff PF/C Katona, NY
10 Galloway, Brian C Peekskill, NY
12 Fava, Danny PF Middle Village, NY
14 Karabatzoglou, Toli F Dix Hills, NY
15 Swanson, Jahmani PG New York, NY
18 Tilkin, Teddy SF Commack, NY
21 Rickert, Justin F Shamokin, PA
23 Ennis, Conor F/G Carnel, NY
24 Cotoia, Steve G Fort Lee, NJ
34 Puccella, Rudy F Harrison, NY
42 Novicki, Nic F Orange, CT
The New York Towers were organized in order to create an athletic program for little people in the New York metropolitan area. To be a Tower you must be a resident and live in the area and be available for team events throughout the year. If you fit this criteria, we welcome you to contact Clinton Brown @ email@example.com to find out details about the next Towers event.
School: SUNY Albany Hometown: Katonah, NY Birthdate: 8/25/88
Height: 4’6″ Weight: 130
Jeff’s an avid sports fan and has been involved in DAAA from an early age. His hobbies and interest also include being apart of his hometown Fire Department. One’s of Jeff’s quotes that he lives by is “those who dont fail, dont try.” A true NY Tower on and off the court, Jeff embodies what the team stands for.
Clinton’s life in sports started at an early age, growing up as part of the New York Islander’s hockey family during their Stanley Cup winning years. His interest in sports could be seen even in his elementary school journal entries where he would always fill in “sports agent” or “hockey coach” next to the question – What do you want to be when you grow up?
Through his involvement with the Little People of America, Clinton was able to find an outlet for his competitive fire by competing in the Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA). DAAA is an organization that puts on athletic competitions for little people. DAAA hosts competition in various sports once a year at the LPA National Conference, as well as, at the World Dwarf Games and the Paralympics when they come around every 4 years.
At the 2009 DAAA National Games in Brooklyn, NY, Clinton put together the New York Towers and their efforts netted them a Bronze Medal. With a strong group of core players, the Towers have been able to practice once a month, since those games and have formed a nucleus that he feels has the ability to win a lot of games in the future.
If you ask him, he’ll say regardless of if we win or lose on the court, we’ve really already won. His main goal with the Towers is to give local New York LP’s the chance to compete regularly against opponents of the same height. His secondary goal for the team is to show the rest of the world that Little People can do big things, hence the New York Towers hope to Inspire → Educate → Motivate
Birthdate: 8/21/1981 Hometown: Fort Lee, NJ School: Hofstra University
Position: F/G Ht: 4’0″ Wt: 110 lbs
Steve is our enforcer, when we need him to take care of business, he’s out there like Joe Pesci whackin’ defenders. A boisterous, spark plug, Steve is a motivator on and off the court. One of the veterans on the team, Steve is constantly there to remind our newcomers that the old’ dog CAN in fact learn some new tricks.
Birthdate: 6/17/1989 Hometown: Monroeville, PA School: Slippery Rock University
Position: F/C Ht: 4’6″ Wt: 125 lbs
A beast down low, Blaze is our best low block defender. Don’t let that fool you as he’s extremely versatile and defender the perimeter as well. His speed and athleticism allow him to play all forward positions, but we prefer it when he’s holding it down at Center. What many people may not know about Blaze is that he wrestled in high school against his average sized peers and faired quite well. He eats right, works out consistently and takes an active role in maintaining good physical conditioning.
Birthdate: 6/9/1978 Hometown: Westchester, NY School: Peekskill High School
Position: Forward Ht: 4’4″ Wt: 115 lbs
Our elder statesman, Brian is the judge, the jury, and the executioner when it comes to the pick and roll. He’s a monster in the weight room, and his conditioning routines have had a positive impact on several of his teammates. Brian knows there is no “I” in team, and serves as an important mentor to the younger guys on the team.
Birthdate: 4/24/1995 Hometown: Commack, NY School: Commack High School
Position: Forward Ht: 4’2″ Wt: 77 lbs
The youngest of our high school young guns, Teddy has matured over the last year in his basketball skills to allow himself to be an active contributor to Towers Basketball. Teddy came straight from the streets of Commack where he schooled cats at local parks in the area. He took his game to the Towers for the first time at the LPA National Conference in Brooklyn, where he was part of the Bronze Medal winning Towers. His skills will only be improving, so management is looking forward to his development. Teddy embodies the positive outlook and attitude that Towers Basketball is all about.
Birthdate: 7/7/1986 Hometown: Brodheadsville, PA School:
Position: Forward Ht: 4’2″ Wt: 125 lbs
Chris is pretty much the life of the team. He embodies the spirit and personality of who we are. One of the most enjoyable people to be around, Chris is a main contributor to the chemistry of this team. He’s been committed to Towers Basketball from day 1 and he sacrifices a lot of energy to be a part of it by driving from pennsylvania for all practices. Chris is a sports fan in general, but of basketball first and foremost.
Birthdate: 11/3/1990 Hometown: Carmel, NY School: High Point University
Position: SG/SF Ht: 4’5″ Wt: 105 lbs
A true love of sports in general, Conor is that confident player on the court who you can trust to settle things down when need be. He’s an emotional leader and a go-to guy in the clutch. He typically will play either forward position but his ball handling skills allow him to quarterback at the point if the situation calls for it. Conor is currently in college in North Carolina and devotes time to play and practice during his breaks from college.
Birthdate: 8/15/1992 Hometown: Riverhead, NY School: Riverhead High School
Position: Shooting Guard Ht: 4’2″ Wt: 102 lbs
John is the jump shooter on the wing that you can count on to hit a shot when it counts. He’s got excellent skills and has been playing since a very young age. He’s athletic, quick, and fiery on defense. Playing opposite from Tompkins on the other wing is where they seem to really open the court up for there teammates down low. John excels off the court in school and is already preparing for his life after high school at the university level.
Birthdate: 8/21/1986 Hometown: Queens, NY School: Univ. of Massachusetts
Position: Power Forward Ht: 4’4″ Wt: 135 lbs
If you would compare Danny’s game to a current NBA player, David Lee comes to mind immediately. A true student of the game, Danny’s love of sport stems from a very early age. It extended into college where he gained his degree in Sports Marketing. He knows where to be on the court at all times. He can bang bodies down low to grab nasty rebounds, and is an excellent passer. He’s our coach on the court, while his brother is the coach on the bench.
Birthdate: 4/1/1993 Hometown: New York, NY School: High School
Position: Guard Ht: 4’5″ Wt: 110 lbs
Justin first came on to the little people basketball scene at the Brooklyn Conference in the summer of 2009. His raw talent was immediately recognized and his enthusiasm for playing the game was evident from the moment we saw him on the court. An excellent defender and ball handler. Justin’s speed is also a very big part of his game, and when he turns on the jet’s, more often then not he’ll leave a few defenders behind.
Birthdate: 12/4/1985 Hometown: New York, NY School: Monroe College
Position: PG Ht: 4’5″ Wt: 105 lbs
Jahmani Swanson, born in 1985, grew up in NYC with a basketball in his hand before he could even walk. He played for his middle school and his high school team growing up. Jahmani took it to the next level when he went to Juco at Monroe College, where he graduated with his associates in sports management. He played AAU ball with Frederick Douglass and other teams at his height of 4’5″ and weighing in at 105 Lbs.
Jahmani has been hands on involved with the Nike Pro City tournament for several years, working under the direction of his dear friend and basketball director Ray Diaz.
A great all around player, Jahmani is the center of the offensive attack for Towers Basketball. He’s a highlight reel who can shoot from the outside, dish off on the no look, and he gets up in the air with the best of them to snag rebounds. His amazing graces on the court run a close second in his life to his commitment to his family, friends, and to helping in his community. Jahmani’s brother Justin also plays on the towers, and they make for an incredibly dynamic backcourt duo.
Described by some as the best LP basketball player to walk the earth