Volume 18 • Issue 39 | February 10 - 16, 2006

Talking Point

It shouldn’t take a revelation to celebrate greatness

By Wickham Boyle

Epiphanny Prince, yes with two N’s, is one hell of a name. A girl saddled with such a portentous handle could have just curled up to hide. But Epiphanny Prince has hit the world upside the head and we all took notice.

In the last week she has been the subject of features, editorials and sports commentary on all the major networks and newspapers. She has been on David Letterman and was a news clip on Saturday Night Live.

Epiphanny Prince, a senior at Murry Bergtraum High School in Lower Manhattan, is an 18-year-old basketball player who heads to Rutgers next year. All the papers say she is a 5’9” guard, but Epiphanny will stress that she is 5’10” and A HALF. She lives in Fort Greene Brooklyn and is the older sister to Emeek, and for the moment, she holds the high school girl’s scoring record for the most baskets in a single game. She toppled Cheryl Miller’s 1982 105-point game, putting up 113 against Brandeis High School last Thursday night.

There were only about a dozen people in the stands in Murry Bergtraum’s gym. The coach Ed Grezinsky said that they didn’t even have the videotape running because it was “a league game that we were dealt. And so we played all 16 players.” All of the controversy swirls around the fact that the Brandeis team was clearly no match for the Bergtraum’s LADY BLAZERS, and at halftime, Epiphanny, who went on to play all 32 minutes, had 59 points. Her team was up 74 –11 at the half. Still Epiphanny wasn’t thinking about the other team. “ I was thinking about Kobe,” she said, referring to Kobe Bryant, who recently scored 81 points for the Los Angeles Lakers. “He is my favorite player and I thought I had a chance to catch him. Then today at school everyone was calling me 113.”

Coach Grezinsky decided to leave Epiphanny in for the entire game, saying, “ She is a very unselfish player, who in any game can score 60 points. As coaches we have to give kids opportunities to do great things, so I wanted to give her a chance.” And Epiphanny played on, even though Grezinsky also played the bench during the fourth quarter. Epiphanny scored 113 points, breaking the Miller record. The Lady Blazers, led by number 10, won the game 137-32.

So why is this not just a joyous event for a young woman from a New York City public school? Here is the crux of the controversy. Vera Springer, the of the trounced Brandeis team likened Epiphanny’s feat to “ picking on a handicapped person” in an interview with the New York Post. But wait. Epiphanny shot 60 times and made 54 of those baskets, four of them three-pointers. Am I missing something? I believe that is an incredible achievement even in practice.

According to Epiphanny, Cheryl Miller the current record holder called her saying, “Congratulations, records were made to be broken.” Can’t we all be content that a girl who started playing round ball in the Brooklyn Navy Yard courts with boys when she was in fifth grade has gone on to have a great victory? Can’t we feel some pride that Epiphany says, “ I love to win, I hate to love and I would love to play for the W.N.B.A., but first I am going to college.” I liked the shy small grin that lit up Epiphanny’s game face when she talked about Kobe or playing on the team with her cousin. This is a girl who has found a passion and a coach who was willing to let her run with in a nearly empty gym on a cold February night. Why are there so many “haters” out there? Let’s channel some of this interest into audiences so the next game when Epiphanny Prince explodes onto the court the stands are full of fans chanting “113, 113.”


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