Super Scout Tom Konchalski Retires
After decades of reporting on New York City high school basketball, veteran scout Tom Konchalski, at the age of 73 penned, his retirement letter in his HSBI Report. Konchalski, who's surveyed student-athletes for over four decades, is considered the gold standard of accessing high school talent. His report was read by hundreds of Division I college coaches.
The High School Basketball Illustrated Report’s motto on scouting has been, “Others tell you where they’ve been. We tell you where they’re going!” The report was made available by subscription and in print publication only, identifying icons like Michael Jordan, LeBron James and countless others before they became stars. As such, Konchalski became an icon and guru in his own right
When it came to scouting, Konchalski had what he categorized as a gold standard player. “In NYC, obviously there’s Kareem Jabbar, who was Lewis Alcindor when he was at Power Memorial Academy. I did not see Bob Cousy in high school he went to Andrew Jackson HS. Connie Hawkins from Boys High was an absolutely great player. Tiny Archibald from DeWitt Clinton developed into a great player. He did not even start as a junior, then as a senior he got better at every level because he worked purposely on his game. Guys like that! Roger Brown was a great player, Kevin Joyce, Kenny Anderson guys like that. Those are the Gold Standards of NYC basketball.” he said in a documentary
The landscape of NYC basketball looks a lot different since Konchalski first stepped on the scene. Regardless of the outside world changing around him, Tom K spent decades reporting on the game, using what is viewed as dinosaur methods. He traveled the state without a car, often using public transportation, with no cell phone, no laptop, or home computer. Years ago, I asked him what he used at home to write with. He told me, a typewriter. I then asked where does he even find ribbon for it? But that was Konchalski. Things that we find a necessity life, he still used the simplistic approach.
Everyone has fond memories of meeting Konchalski which always included the firm handshake. While holding your hand, looking at you in the eye he'd ask the questions that showed he cared.
The beloved NYC scout with the photogenic memory will be sorely missed now and even more once basketball returns. So, when the game finally comes back, everyone remember to save a seat in top row of bleachers as a thank you for NYC scout Tom Konchalski.