Cardozo Welcomes Back Famous Alumnus

Cardozo won their 38th consecutive league basketball game Thursday, but the high point of the afternoon came in the first quarter.
Former Judge Royal Ivey returned to the Oakland Gardens school for just the second time since leading Cardozo to the city championship in the 1998-99 season.
A second year guard with the Atlanta Hawks, Ivey entered the gymnasium to applause a few minutes into the opening quarter. Hugging teachers and security guards as he strolled in, Ivey joined former teammates Daryll Hill and Ryan Williams (both now playing at St. John’s University) in the bleachers behind the Cardozo bench.
Ivey joined Cardozo Coach Ron Naclerio at halftime, where he was presented with his No. 12 jersey. Naclerio said they may retire the uniform at a later date.
“I’m just glad to be back in the neighborhood,” said Ivey, in town to play the Knicks over the weekend. “This was my first opportunity to come back here for a game. I’ll never forget where I came from. I wanted to show my face.”
Ivey, 24, a four-year starter at the University of Texas where he led the Longhorns to four NCAA Tournament appearances and a Final Four spot in 2003, was selected No. 37 overall in the second round of the NBA draft by the Hawks. The MVP in the PSAL city championship, Ivey, an accomplished defender, led the Judges to their lone title, and was named to the Big-12 conference all-defensive team in 2003 and 2004.
In 62 games as a rookie with the Hawks last year, he averaged 3.5 points, 1.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 13.0 minutes. This year, he’s scoring 3.2 points-a-game.
Ivey originally had planned on playing baseball at Cardozo, so he didn’t play on the varsity until his sophomore year. Still, during tryouts his freshman year, he stood out. “I remember the first time I saw him play,” the coach recalled. “We were having tryouts with about 100 kids. There was something about the kid.”
As the 6-foot-3 guard reminisced about his high school days he clutched his new bright orange and blue jersey. “It’s great,” he said of the uniform. “I’m going to get this framed.”

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