Mike Tice, Jeff Ruland lead 2013 class into Suffolk Hall of Fame

Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Mike Tice. Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Mike Tice. (May 10, 2013) Photo Credit: Bob Mitchell

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There was a time when Mike Tice, longtime NFL player and coach, dreamed of a professional career . . . in the NBA.

The closest he came was a memorable non-league basketball game between his Central Islip team and Sachem in December of 1976, when the Flaming Arrows featured future NBA center Jeff Ruland.

"Honestly, I wanted to play for the Knicks and John [his brother] wanted to play for the Giants," Mike Tice said. "Unfortunately, I was just an OK basketball player. Then I got the football bug. I've had a blessed career as a player and coach."

Indeed, Tice, an NFL tight end for 14 years and coach for 17, was among the inductees Friday night into the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame. He was joined by John Tice, who never made the Giants but played 10 years at tight end for the Saints. Both starred at Central Islip and Maryland.

Ruland, who went from Sachem to Iona to the NBA for seven years before a knee injury ended his career, was also a headliner at the affair held at the Long Island Sheraton in Hauppauge. The other inductees: Paul Brodmerkel (wrestling) Lindenhurst; Nicole Kaczmarski (girls basketball) Sachem; John Klein (football, basketball, baseball) West Islip; Jim Mahoney (boys basketball coach) Copiague; John Papanek, Patchogue, editor at Sports Illustrated and ESPN; and Risa Zander (girls basketball coach) Sachem. The Sayville football program received the 2013 Special Recognition Award.

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