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Joe Kaplan: exemplary player, exemplary man.

In the spring of 1992 I brought Abraham Lincoln High School's handball team to the one-wall courts at Avenue S and Macdonald Avenue in Brooklyn. These were the home courts of Lincoln's division rival, Lafayette High School, and the very same courts, refurbished about 20 years before, where I had played my first singles for Lafayette.


But in '92 I was Lincoln's coach hoping to defeat my alma mater in the first division match of the season for each squad. Lincoln's first singles player was tall and rangy, a good athlete with considerable power. He had been torn between playing on Lincoln's handball team and basketball team, but for the present had selected handball. He could beat all the other boys on my team, hence his position as number one singles. I expected him to do well that day until I began witnessing Lafayette's first singles warming up. A boy seemingly half the size of my first singles player and looking as though he weighed a hundred pounds soaking wet, he was bending low and pounding kills with greater velocity and accuracy than I had ever seen from my best player, or any other teenager for many years. To continue reading go to

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Author:Flickstein, Dan
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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