Joe Clinton’s lifelong devotion honored with Hall call

Courtesy of Josh Thomson of The Journal News Read the full article here.

Joe Clinton of Pearl River, a former star basketball player at Albertus Magnus, will be inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 18.

Orangeburg, N.Y. (4/15/15) ¬†When Joe Clinton graduated Union College in 1983, he never had that moment where he stopped to contemplate his future. And why would he? Clinton grew up playing ball from dawn to dusk. He wasn’t about to take up accounting.

So, at 22, he began to coach. Thirty-two years later, the Pearl River native’s passion for the games he loves persists.

“I liked playing so much, I couldn’t see myself do anything else,” he said.

Clinton’s lifelong devotion continues, but his achievements will be honored on Saturday when he is among those inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame.

The 54-year old is one of six brothers, all of whom attended Albertus Magnus. Clintongraduated in 1979 as an all-county basketball and baseball player who helped the Falcons win Section 9 basketball championships during both of his seasons on varsity. They reached the state championship game Clinton’s senior year when he earned Rockland player of the year honors.

“I look back on it, and It was just a great time to grow up,” he said. “We came home from school and played ball all day.”

Clinton played four years of basketball and two years of baseball at Union. He finished with over 1,000 points and 500 assists and led Union to its first NCAA tournament appearance as a senior.

After graduation, he worked mornings at Sears so he could work a $1,000-a-year job as an assistant at SUNY Maritime. He returned to join the staff of his high school coach, Tom Collins, and soon became the head coach at Rockland Community College at just 25.

Clinton coached four years at RCC before arriving at Dominican. He has been the director of athletics and head men’s basketball coach for 25 years, posting a 362-341 career record.

“My favorite time of year is when we have our alumni game,” he said. “It’s just good to make the lifelong friendships and enjoy that camaraderie.”

Sports continues to provide Clinton with the special moments he cherishes. The last three years, he has coached his son, Joe, a former all-county guard at Pearl River who will be a senior next season.

“I just can’t believe how fast it’s all gone,” Clinton said.