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TMLA’s Hobdy shows skills in tourney

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Sometimes it takes a little convincing to get Simone Hobdy to play at her best.

Her Mary Louis and team Queens Coach JoAnn Arbitello had to pull the junior guard aside in the third quarter of the girls’ final of the Wheelchair Classic basketball tournament April 17 at York College. She told her she belongs on the court with the seniors heading to Division I school, but had to prove it.

“From there she really took over,” Arbitello said. “Sometimes with Simone you have to tell her that she belongs out there.”

Hobdy scored eight of her team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter of Queens’ 78-77 loss to Brooklyn. She might have been the game’s most valuable player had Bishop Loughlin’s Imani Tate not hit a game-winning fall away jumper with 2.5 seconds left to give Brooklyn the win.

“I just didn’t want to lose,” Hobdy said. “I tried to do everything I can to help my team out.”

Arbitello believes it’s a matter of Hobdy, who led TMLA to a Catholic JV city title as a sophomore, believing in her abilities and her improving her jump shot that will determine whether she will be a Division I player or not. She already has interest from Hofstra, Penn State and Providence and hopes to add more playing with Arbitello and Positive Direction during the travel ball season.

“I’m ready to go out there and show people what I can do,” Hobdy said.

Pathway’s Washington heading to JUCO: Jordan Washington, one of the city’s top recruits, will have to wait to play Division I basketball.

The Pathways senior has scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Louisville, Villanova, St. John’s and Memphis, among others. Instead, he will be picking a junior college to get himself academically eligible to play at the next level in the future and get in better shape.

“It will give me a good chance to get things right, lose some weight and get to the top,” Washington said.

He is unsure where he will end up, but will pick soon. He listed Trinity Valley, Chipola, Indian Hills and Brooklyn’s ASA as possible landing spots. The 6-foot-7, 261-pound Washington powered his way to 23 points and earned team MVP honors in Queens’ 67-55 loss to Manhattan/Westchester in the consolation game of the Wheelchair Classic.

He already got a taste of what it was like to be away from home this season and didn’t care for it. He spent the beginning of the school year at West Oaks Academy (Fla.). Washington eventually felt homesick and transferred back to Pathways, where he won two PSAL Class B titles, but was ineligible to play. He didn’t want to be too far from his 73-year-old grandmother Joan, who lives in Jamaica.

“It was tough being away,” Washington said.

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