ISS1 2016

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Page 45 of 76

Lou Carnesecca: Basketball Legend, Coast Guard Reserve Plank Owner Story by PA2 Sara Romero, Public Affairs Detachment New York Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Luigi "Lou" Carnesecca wasn't much of a basketball player while growing up in Depression-era New York City; baseball was his game. An even lesser known fact is that he was among the first members of the newly founded U.S. Coast Guard Reserve during World War II. Coach Carnesecca has kept the story to himself for most of his life and shares many details of his service for the first time along with a rare view of what life was like during the formative years of the Coast Guard Reserve. The animated and energetic Carnesecca is a New York legend. He led every one of his St. Johns' teams to an NCAA post season appearance logging over 500 wins during his 24 year career. The man, who made colored sweaters a wardrobe staple, had eighteen 20-win seasons at St. Johns and was voted national Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1985 by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NA). Carnesecca also coached the New York Nets, taking the team to the 1972 ABA finals. On a beautiful spring day at St. Johns University, as students walk to their next class, a buzz is in the air about an upcoming basketball game in the nearby Lou Carnesecca Arena where I sit face-to-face with a kind, older gentlemen wearing a nice suit and a big smile. Coach Carnesecca speaks with a raspy, yet gentle voice welcoming the opportunity to talk about his love and respect for the Coast Guard. The energy and excitement he had in his voice when talking about his time in service is reminiscent of one his many famed inspirational half-time speeches. The following story is a "1st person" view of what U. S. Coast Guard Reserve Pharmacist Mate 2nd Class Lou Carnesecca's service during World War II was like. "Plank-owner" to the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 1943 My father was the one who encouraged me to join the Coast Guard Reserve. I was 18 years old when I graduated from St. Ann's High School, East Side of Manhattan, New York, in June of 1943. I joined the Coast Guard Reserve right after graduation. I knew Lou Carnesecca, U.S. Coast guard Reservist during World War ii, received the Lifetime achievement award from the Federal Law enforcement offcers association (FLeoa) at Sector new York's Coast guard day celebration on Friday, august 7, 2015. John Bottone (left), FLeoa national Vice President, and John Keely (right), Cg investigations agent, presented the award. Photo by Pa2 Sara Romero ReseRvist Magazine shipMates in Focus 44 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2016

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