Syracuse Post Standard- Nats' Rookies Impress Cervi In First Drill
14 Hopefuls Report For Early Trial; Long Scrimmage In Manlius Gym Uncovers Talent
Fourteen hopefuls, all but four of them strictly new to pro basketball, began bidding for jobs as the Syracuse Nationals opened their "rookie Tryout camp" yesterday in the Manlius School gymnasium. And Coach Al Cervi liked what he saw. "They all look pretty good," was Cervi's pronouncement after 60 minutes of scrimmaging, but admitted that there were certain candidates who looked particularly impressive. Among the new faces who got off to an especially good start were: Marty Satalino, a sharp-passing, 6-foot product of St. John's of Brooklyn, who was drafted by the Nats three years ago but had to serve a military hitch first. Marty set up the prettiest scoring plays of the session. Myles Witchery, a 6 foot 5 surprise from Belmont, Ohio, who came here on his own. He played college ball at West Liberty Teachers before serving with the Fourth Infantry in Alaska and gaining attention as a service hoopster. He was recommended by Jules Rivlin, the former Toledo pro, and George King, the Nats' retired back-court ace. Jim Ray of Toledo, Forest Able of Western Kentucky, Jim McLaughlin of St. Louis U., and Joe Holup, the Nats' No. 1 draft choice from George Washington U., were other newcomers who drew an extra word of praise from Cervi. The 6 foot 6 Holup is going to need plenty of conditioning before he'll be able to go all out for a job, but Cervi said: "He's strong on the boards and a good shot." Holup bears a startling physical resemblance to Philadelphia's Neil Johnston. Mal Duffy, the former St. Bonaventure star who was cut from the squad last fall, came up with a number of dazzling plays and obviously he is a strong candidate for a backcourt post. Don Savage, the former St. Anthony's, Manlius and Lemoyne great, was the hottest shooter of the practice, hitting his first four shots, on the jumper he perfected as a service standout with the Parris Island Marines. Don, now down to 194 pounds and looking slim and sharp, was with the Nats the forepart of the 1951-52 season and part of the next. Old pro Max Zaslofsky, who used to give the Nats fits as a shooter, first with New York and then with Fort Wayne, was one of the non-rookies on hand. John Horan, 6-8 former Dayton star, who was with Fort Wayne and Minneapolis last season, appeared in top shape for another crack at NBA competition. Dick Kenyon, one of Lemoyne's all-time greats, also displayed plenty of hustle and determination. Others here for trials are Dolph Schayes' 6 foot 3 brother, Herman, who has been playing with the barnstorming Washington Generals; John Stoehr, 5-11 Altoona, PA, high schooler. Bob Hopkins, Grambling, LA, college giant, and Les Roh of Idaho State, both draft picks, did not appear in the first workout. John Abraham of Westminster and Sampson, sent word that he has decided against a pro career. Dolph Schayes and Eddie Conlin both suited up for the drill. Schayes scrimmaged but Conlin, who isn't signed yet, got in some shooting. The holdovers will report Monday but will train at Manlius only until Thursday when they will move on to the Pittsburgh Air Force Base to meet the Rochester Royals in exhibitions Friday and Saturday. They will remain at Pittsburgh for a two-a-day drills, returning to Manlius after they meet the Royals again in Kingston Oct. 17. The Nats have booked another game with the world championship Philadelphia Warriors at Monessan, PA, a Pittsburgh suburb, Oct. 21. The Nats also will meet Philly in Washington, Oct. 19 and in Richmond, VA, Oct. 20.