Jim Baumbach is an investigative / enterprise sports reporter for Newsday. A Long Island native, he started working Show More
Quinton Hosley believed he had a good chance to get drafted
by an NBA team Thursday night, but he knew there was no guarantee. So many
mock drafts had him picked in the mid-to-late second round, which really is
just a guessing game.
He tried hard not to get his hopes too high.
That's why the New York City native really didn't want to plan anything big
for draft night. He wanted a small gathering of close family and friends at
the local gym on 143rd and Lenox where he grew up playing basketball.
But word of his draft party spread through Harlem, and the small gathering
he envisioned morphed into an open house. By the time the draft began, he said,
there were at least 100 people there, maybe more. And that had to have made it
all the more painful when the 60th and final pick of the night was announced
and it wasn't Quinton Hosley.
So much for all those mock drafts and all the good vibes he felt from the
eight teams for whom he worked out. One word could best describe how he felt.
"Disappointment," Hosley, 23, said Friday. "Just disappointment."
In a sad way, it's kind of fitting the draft turned out like this for
He's the son of a New York City streetball icon, Ron Mathias, whose pro
basketball career was killed by his rampant off-the-court problems. That's part
of the reason why Hosley was looking forward to getting drafted, so he could
begin to give his father - known on city streets as The Terminator - a glimpse
into the NBA life he missed out on.
It still might happen, just not the way Hosley envisioned it. Now he's an
undrafted free agent looking to play for an NBA team in a summer league, hoping
something might happen from there.
"You've got to be optimistic," said Hosley, a 6-6 small forward who
averaged 16 points and nine rebounds for Fresno State the last two years. "I've
been through worse than this in my life, so I just have to persevere, keep on
This type of career hurdle isn't uncommon for Hosley, not after the way his
college search went.
He was all set to go to St. John's, his dream school. But when Norm Roberts
took over for the fired Mike Jarvis, St. John's showed no interest in him
because it couldn't afford to give him the year away he needed to get his
No big deal, Hosley thought. He signed his letter of intent to play for
Providence, and the school enrolled him at Globe Tech in New York City to work
solely on his grades. Hosley did just that, saying he passed his classes. But
when it came time to transfer, the coaching staff told him that the Providence
admissions department decided not to accept all his credits.
"I just felt like I was about to get my foot in the door," he said, "and
then there was always something."
Hosley wound up at Fresno State and played well enough to warrant looks by
NBA teams. The Bulls, Sonics, Jazz, Warriors, Pistons, Timberwolves, Spurs and
Celtics had him in for private workouts. Each team had the chance to draft him
Thursday night. All of them passed.
"I just need to pick myself up," he said, "and use this as motivation."
As if he needed any more motivation. All he's ever had to do is look at how
good his father could have been.
Mathias didn't have the grades for Division I, but he wowed everyone at
Palm Beach JC. He was the nation's leading scorer when he was kicked off the
team during the 1985-86 season because of myriad problems that, according to a
1991 Orlando Sentinel story, included being charged with selling free textbooks
back to the bookstore and making a sexual advance toward a female professor.
He hung around the professional basketball scene - "Whatever minor league
you can think of, he played in it," Hosley said - but he never could get his
act together to make the NBA. "He had a bad attitude," Hosley said. "So that's
something he has always tried to instill in me, to make sure that I have a good
That may explain why Hosley is still hopeful today after Thursday's
On the streets of Harlem, he's known simply as "T-2," a shout-out to his
father. But Hosley doesn't want to be remembered merely as the son of a father
who couldn't quite cut it. He is determined to make it, and going undrafted
won't deter him. Said Hosley, "I've been through worse."