West New York basketball courts to be renamed after Jackie Gilloon

A ceremony will take place on October 15 at 2 p.m.

The basketball courts in Washington Park in West New York will be renamed to honor the memory of Jack “Jackie” Gilloon. Gilloon, a Hudson County basketball legend, passed away in January of this year at the age of 65.

Previously, Gilloon was inducted into the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, for playing on the Memorial High School basketball team from 1971 to 1974. After graduating from Memorial High School in West New York having led the Tigers to three consecutive North Hudson championships and the Hudson County championship in 1973, he was one of Coach Frank McGuire’s premier point guards from 1975 to 1978 at the University of South Carolina (USC), finishing with 1,125 points and the all-time assist leader.

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While Gilloon was drafted by the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, he didn’t make the team and instead played professional basketball in Argentina for four years. After retiring, he then became a teacher at P.S. No. 2 in West New York.

“To honor him I have been working with the city of West New York in New Jersey to rename the basketball courts in Washington Park, where he learned the game, The Jackie Gilloon Memorial Basketball Courts,” said organizer James Graziano, who played basketball at USC from 1977 to 1980.

The renaming will take place on October 15 at 2 p.m. An alumni basketball game organized by Memorial High School Athletic Director John Ferachio, will begin the festivities followed by the dedication of the courts in Gilloon’s honor.

“After months of hard work and perseverance, the city has given us the day of October 15, 2022 to make this project a reality,” Graziano said. “We are going to honor Jackie by coming together to dedicate these courts to him.”

There will be a dedication ceremony with memorial speeches will be made by former high school teammate Congressman Albio Sires who represents the 8th Congressional District of New Jersey, West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, his high school coach Tony Yankovich, and other teammates from USC. A bronze plaque has been ordered and will be placed at the site.

Additionally, a reception has been generously offered, with food and beverage furnished by the food services of West New York schools. A large screen TV will be installed showing highlights from Gilloon’s days at the University of South Carolina.

“It will be a day of celebration for all the residents of West New York as well as Jackie’s family, friends and former teammates,” Graziano said. “I invite you all to please join us to celebrate Jackie and his contributions to basketball.”

Graziano has put together a GoFundMe fundraiser webpage for all of the expenses incurred during the day as well as the bronze plaque and it’s installation. As of September 28, $5,000 out of the $8,000 goal has been raised. To donate, go to: gofundme.com/f/jackie-gilloon-memorial-fund.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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