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Reality Ron

Everything about Ron Naclerio is made for television.
His sideline tantrums; workouts with NBA stars; endless lists of contacts; the dynasty he has created at Cardozo; his playground past at the Rucker, Harlem’s famed blacktop; and his street slang and bright orange wardrobe.
In an age where seemingly every fringe “star” has their own reality show, Naclerio, the legendary zany basketball coach at the northeastern Queens school, may soon have his shot.
InnerArtists Management LLC is in the process of selling the “unscripted reality show” called “The Teacher” to a major network. ESPN, MTV, and FOX have all shown significant interest after viewing the engaging eight-minute pilot, which is also available for viewing on their website (www.rontheteacher.com).
“There is really nobody like Ron,” Alexes Hargrove, the show’s producer/manager said, “in terms of character, integrity, honor. That’s what entertainment is. This guy has to be on television.”
Hargrove and her film crew started to follow Naclerio, the former All-American outfielder at St. John’s in the mid 1970’s, and the Judges two years ago, and watched Naclerio win his 12th consecutive division title and earn his 500th career win this winter. They were also on hand Saturday afternoon, as Cardozo hosted a basketball reunion at Tall Oak Playground behind P.S. 46 in Oakland Gardens. The event was a perfect example of why Hargrove and partners Josh Zeide and Jimmy Smith, the senior vice president of marketing for BBDL, an advertising firm in Los Angeles, have an interest in such a show.
Upwards of 750 former and current Judges from all of Naclerio’s 26 years were on hand. The program’s most famous alums, Rafer Alston of the Houston Rockets and Royal Ivey of the Atlanta Hawks, showed up, as did others who have excelled off the basketball court, like Neil King, who works under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington, D.C.
“He’s everybody’s big brother, surrogate father,” another of Naclerio’s former players, Steve DeMeo, now the associate head basketball coach at Providence College. “He’ll do anything for any of his guys.”
When word spread of Naclerio’s possible future on television, the response was overwhelming. Many shared stories of their favorite Naclerio moments, whether it was running onto the court during a scrimmage, kicking a scorer’s table, or playfully eating a basketball.
“Just don’t let him know the cameras are rolling,” Alston joked, “you’ll get all the reality you need,”
“If [singer] Bobby Brown can have his own reality show, Ron Naclerio should too,” DeMeo said. “MTV better pick it up.”
The idea for the show originally came from Zeide, an entertainment and sports attorney/agent. He met Naclerio at a pre-draft camp in Chicago through Alston nine years ago, and was immediately attached to the hyperactive New York City basketball icon. “There’s something special about him,” Zeide said. “I don’t know too many people who are more naturally funny than Ron.”
When Zeide approached Naclerio about the idea, the coach balked at the suggestion, until the fall of 2005. “From the beginning, I didn’t really understand it,” Naclerio said. “Now, I’m gung ho for it, because I think I can teach a lot in this forum. I’ve probably been through all the possible gamuts you can go through with kids. I’ve had kids make the NBA; I’ve had kids working on Wall Street. Unfortunately, I have seven kids who aren’t here with us anymore, four who were murdered.”
“I hope it happens,” he went on. “It’s better than them showing my face at the post office.”
Zeide and Hargrove are confident the show will be picked up. They hope to start shooting this fall under a contact with an eye toward the opening pilot airing in the fall of 2008. “It’s been very well received,” Zeide said. “People who don’t know Ron have taken to it, and people who know Ron said it’s about time.”

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