Richardson’s book approaches a full turn in his basketball coaching career.
Before he became a senior college assistant in Xavier and Arizona, before he became the face of the FBI’s investigation into bribery in college basketball, before he served 90 days at the Otisville (New York) Federal Correctional Institution to plead guilty to one count of bribery money, Richardson grew up an He plays basketball in the streets and in the parks of Harlem and the South Bronx. He knows basketball in New York City like no one else.
Now, at the age of forty-nine, Richardson has a new goal and mission.
He will be the head coach of New York City’s junior academy team called the Program starting in the 2023-24 season. The goal of the program, launched by New York City natives Griffin Taylor and Jared Efron, is to keep New York City’s best young talent at home and combine players into a single team capable of competing with the nation’s top charter schools such as Monteverde Academy (Florida), IMG Academy and Oak Academy Hill (VA).
A noble goal that must be ensured.
The program has Carmelo Anthony as a partner and Kenny Smith and J.J. Redick as advisors. Anthony, who was not immediately available for comment, was born in Brooklyn, and his son, Kian, plays at Christ the King High School in New York City.
“I would like to win a national championship and that is the ultimate goal,” Richardson said in a recent interview. “But I think winning battles every single day, every single day, means getting the best and trying to make sure that New York City can stand on its own in terms of talent and knowing that is the closest thing to college in terms of your outlook whether you’re recruiting locally, nationally or internationally.
“But having a chance to try to win a national championship and start day in and day out by trying to win every district and every section of the city… The goal is to conquer the area around you.”
It’s been nearly five years since Richardson became one of 10 men — including four assistant coaches — arrested in September 2017 after an FBI investigation into college basketball bribery. Assistant coaches from Auburn, Oklahoma and the University of Southern California were also arrested.
Richardson eventually became the first coach of the group to be imprisoned as a result of an FBI investigation after a plea agreement was reached in January 2019 in which he pleaded guilty to accepting $20,000 in bribes from agents in exchange for later directing the Arizona players to those agents for professional representation. and spent 90 days in prison.
None of the coaches at the four schools where their assistants were arrested lost their jobs in the immediate aftermath of the investigation. Arizona split from Richardson’s former boss Sean Miller in 2021, but he was hired in March for a second assignment with Xavier.
Since his release from prison, Richardson has been the director of operations for New York Gauchos Basketball for boys, ages 6 to 18, and is said to earn $3,000 a month.
“I think we can all agree that Bock threw a sack at that scandal,” Efron said. “He has recovered incredibly with the Gauchos over the past two years. His eighth grade team has been one of the best in the country and his training history speaks for itself. So we hope he will be a big part of our story.”
Griffin and Efron grew up playing basketball in New York City, and although they never quite made it to the big level, they believe in the city’s basketball roots and bemoan the fact that New York no longer produces as many Major League or NBA stars. used to.
In a timely reminder of New York’s glorious past in hardwood, on July 29, Showtime will premiere a NYC POINT GODS documentary featuring characters from New York Point legends, including Rafer Alston, Kenny Anderson, Mark Jackson, Stephon Marbury and God Shamgood. Kenny Smith, Rod Strickland and Dwayne “Pearl” Washington. The movie is a collaboration between Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Boardroom
Durant said, “Everyone knows a New York City guard post when they watch it, and the key points in this movie were instrumental in changing the game for everyone. We’re really excited to honor them with this document, and I know basketball fans will really appreciate it.”
A pitch deck from Griffin and Effron notes that during the 1973-74 season, 1 in 15 NBA players attended high school in New York City compared to 1 in 90 in 2013-14. In 1985, New York State ranked first in terms of per capita Division I players. In 2015, that dropped to 27th place, behind Delaware and Wyoming.
New York City superstars Cole Anthony and Kofi Cockburn left the city in their senior year to play at the famous Oak Hill Academy. Anthony is now with the Orlando Magic, and Cockburn is eligible for the NBA draft this week.
However, Anthony, Smith and Nix guard Miles McBride will be among those attending a fundraiser for the program on Saturday in the Hamptons. He will assist Anthony as a coach at the program’s Hamptons Camp.
Although some of the top stars have left New York in recent years, Richardson is confident there will be enough talent to win if the players stay home.
“I know there are enough talents in the Tri-State,” he said. “I coached a match [recently] In South Street Seaport and you have some of the best 2025 and 2024 in New York and New Jersey I would say in the country.”
“There is a great deal of talent in this city, and you have a chance to develop from a new year onwards,” he added.
This is not the first time such an idea has been contemplated in the New York metropolitan area. Several years ago a Chinese businessman Jack Lee attempted to set up a similar academy in Princeton, New Jersey, but it started to bear fruit.
The program will begin physical construction of its facility in a repurposed warehouse in Brooklyn or Long Island City in the spring of 2023 with a goal of being up and running that fall. Efron and Griffin say they have raised approximately $2.5 million of the $5-6 million needed for the project.
They say the ideal situation would be about eight players from the New York City area, possibly including New Jersey, along with about four local recruits. Students will be housed in apartments and take an online curriculum in the mornings, then focus on basketball in the afternoons.
The goal is also to have a girls’ team on par with the boys’ team at the national level. Former Liberty and Rutgers star Epiphanny Prince, of New York City, is a potential candidate to coach the girls’ team.
“We’ve talked a lot with New York Liberty,” Griffin said. “We want to be very clear that the academy will have a boys and girls team.”
The program will also feature youth leagues, youth camps, and personal training.
Ideally, Richardson said, the goal is to compete with the Monteverde Academy for national championships. Led by Kevin Boyle, Monteverde won six GEICO High School National Championships, including last season, and produced several NBA lottery picks, including Cady Cunningham, Scotty Barnes and Moses Moody, picks #1, 4 and 14 a year ago.
“The goal is to be able to compete with these guys,” Richardson said. “They are very well established and have an incredible culture.
He said the New York Academy “is not going to happen overnight. There will be a process that we all respect.”
“If New York City is behind it, it will go through the roof,” he added. “Success will be amazing.”