Forbes Featured In New York Daily News - UMass Athletics

Forbes Featured In New York Daily News

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Former UMass star and Brooklyn native Gary Forbes had a feature story in the New York Daily News.

It wasn't a good omen for Gary Forbes, the Brooklyn product who played his first pro game at the Garden Sunday as a 25-year-old rookie.

Before the Knicks beat Forbes' Nuggets, 129-125, Spike Lee, the denizen of all things Brooklyn, admitted to the Daily News that he had never heard of Forbes, who starred at Banneker High in Fort Greene.

Maybe he should have known him since Forbes' team lost to Sebastian Telfair and Lincoln in the 2003 PSAL city championship game at the Garden. Lee famously chronicled Coney Island's Lincoln High in his film, "He Got Game."


While Telfair jumped from Lincoln to the NBA, Forbes took a meandering journey to the pros, through a pair of high schools, two colleges, Italy, Israel, the NBA Development league and finally to the Denver Nuggets this season.

Banneker High's Gary Forbes makes NBA debut with Nuggets at Madison Square Garden against Knicks

Monday, December 13th 2010, 4:00 AM

It wasn't a good omen for Gary Forbes, theBrooklyn product who played his first pro game at the Garden Sunday as a 25-year-old rookie.

Before the Knicks beat Forbes' Nuggets, 129-125, Spike Lee, the denizen of all things Brooklyn, admitted to the Daily News that he had never heard of Forbes, who starred at Banneker High in Fort Greene.

Maybe he should have known him since Forbes' team lost to Sebastian Telfair and Lincoln in the 2003 PSAL city championship game at the Garden. Lee famously chronicled Coney Island's Lincoln High in his film, "He Got Game."

While Telfair jumped from Lincoln to theNBA, Forbes took a meandering journey to the pros, through a pair of high schools, two colleges, ItalyIsrael, the NBA Development league and finally to theDenver Nuggets this season.

His performance Sunday (six points), may not have drawn Lee's attention, but if the famous director ever needs a subject for a new film, he may want to draw on Forbes' inspiring story.

"Gary is someone who's always had to deal with obstacles," said Wendell Saunders, who coached Forbes at Banneker. "It's never really come easy for him. He's had to stay confident and keep his head on straight."

Forbes was a picture of boundless energy Sunday, always moving as if he was afraid that if he stopped, someone might tap him on the shoulder and tell him to go back to some basketball outpost. He wasn't drafted out of UMass in 2008 as a fifth-year senior, spent a season with the D-League's Sioux Skyforce before trekking to Italy and Israel for more experience before signing a reported non-guaranteed, minimum contract with Denver for this season.

All the while, he has had to deal with Type 1 diabetes and daily insulin shots, an illness that he thinks may have kept teams from drafting him.

"For me, it's been a tremendous journey," said Forbes before the loss. "It's made me tougher and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. The struggles have made me the person I am today."

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