Published on December 11th, 2020 | by Staples Soccer1
Fred Cantor ’71 Writes Knicks Memoir
Fred Cantor ’71 is a man of many talents. A striker on 2 Wrecker state championship teams, and then a star at Yale University, he has been a lawyer, documentary filmmaker and off-Broadway producer. He wrote a book about Staples soccer: “The Autumn of Their Lives.” He is also one of the team’s biggest superfans.
Fred’s latest project is a book about the New York Knicks. “Fred From Fresh Meadows: A Knicks Memoir” traces his longtime affection for the NBA squad.
Fred is truly a good guy. He is donating 100% of the royalties from his pandemic project to the John Starks Foundation, which provides grants to college-bound high school seniors with academic excellence, financial need and a commitment to community service.
Here is Fred’s message to the current team (and other StaplesSoccer.com readers:
I know this might be hard to believe for today’s Staples soccer players but yes, the Knicks were once among the elite in the NBA. And they inspired us not only as fans, but as soccer players as well.
The mantra of the team’s coach back then, Red Holzman, was “look for the open man.” The Knicks were the paradigm of unselfish play—and that is something we tried to emulate.
I became passionate about basketball at an early age because I spent the first part of my childhood in Fresh Meadows, Queens.
I have followed the Knicks through thick and thin these decades since. So during the pandemic, I looked to do something that would transport me. I thought immersing myself in writing and doing online historical research about the Knicks would be just what the doctor ordered.
But what started out as a personal diversion for me turned into something bigger.
Coming back to Staples soccer today, I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned from the book and my experiences as a kid. That is: There is something to be said for playing multiple sports (even for fun).
I played basketball for a number of years before I played on my first organized soccer team. As I note in the book: “Interestingly, all those years playing basketball helped me a great deal with soccer; the experience of trying to see the whole court and thinking quickly about where to make the next pass translated very well into moving the ball around on the soccer field.”
In addition, I had a ton of fun over the years growing up in Westport playing lots of rec league, intramural, and pick-up basketball games with my friends. I think that balance of playing other sports helped ensure that none of us in my group of friends/teammates ever came close to suffering the kind of burnout you hear about today for kids who start concentrating at a young age playing one sport year-round.
While the book is primarily targeted at Knicks fans, I think anyone who is a passionate fan of any team will hopefully relate to my experiences.