Site Began Modestly in the Summer of 2000 with Coverage of J.P. Stevens and Middlesex County College Leagues
New Brunswick’s Tahjay Moore battles with two Old Bridge defenders in the second half of the Zebras 50-49 win over the top seeded Knights in the 2019 GMCT Quarterfinals, one of the most, if not the most controversial game ever covered by GMC Hoops. The site begins its 20th season of coverage this summer.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ—About this time 20 years ago, Greg Machos began to contemplate building a web site devoted to covering high school boys basketball in Middlesex County, and the Greater Middlesex Conference. Built off of the historical tradition created by other figures over the years in this part of the state, GMC Hoops set to give the rich history of the GMC an online presence.
Over the past 20 years or so, there have been some bumps in the road in delivering that, especially over the past several years. Nevertheless, GMC Hoops is not only still around, but now a household word around many homes throughout Middlesex County. Coverage began modestly though in the Summer of 2000 with coverage of the J.P. Stevens and Middlesex County College Summer Leagues.
Back at that time, those two leagues: Stevens and MCC, had the most GMC teams in them. Most of the summer was spent on covering the Stevens league, which had teams such as JPS, Edison, Colonia, J.F. Kennedy, Piscataway, North Brunswick, Sayreville, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, Bridgewater-Raritan, Rahway, and some others as well. Meanwhile, Middlesex C.C. Had the likes of Perth Amboy, New Brunswick, St. Joseph’s, Piscataway, South Brunswick, South River, and Spotswood among others.
This format of covering two summer leagues in Middlesex County continued for the next several years for GMC Hoops until the summer of 2003 when the J.P. Stevens League ended and the Hawks Basketball Summer SlamFest began at Perth Amboy while Middlesex County teams headed in other directions such as the Linden and Elizabeth Summer Leagues in Union County. Today, GMC Hoops is not only covering an abundance of summer leagues, but also a number of team camps and showcases.
In addition, there are other leagues such as the Jersey Shore Basketball League and Manasquan’s Salty Whale Summer Slam that have many former GMC players competing, and GMC Hoops has gone out to these leagues to follow up on these players to see how they’re doing now. So far this summer, GMC Hoops has already covered 10 teams in the conference as well as two leagues and two team camps.
It may have not been perfect or pretty, but GMC Hoops became one of the pioneering online sources that helped transform coverage of high school sports not only around Middlesex County, but also the entire state of New Jersey, and the country as well. In addition, GMC Hoops helped transform coverage again with its use of social media combined with video and pictures over the past 10 years.
Now with the help of those like James Corrigan and RDPlex, important GMC games are streamed live on places such as YouTube or Facebook. GMC Hoops has also spun off another online stop for high school football coverage in Middlesex County, GMC Gridiron, which also began modestly in September 2014, but has since grown to have over 1,500 followers on Twitter alone. GMC Gridiron and GMC Hoops also cover their sports at the lower levels as well.
In the first year of GMC Hoops, Machos covered only 50 games. In the 2nd year, he covered just 65. Year three, Machos went a bit further with 73. The number of games continued to increase until 2007-08 when it reached a then peak of 108 games. At that time, Machos felt that 108 games would be the ceiling, but despite working full time jobs, he has not only surpassed that mark, but shattered it, and continues doing so every year. During the 2018-19 campaign, Machos saw and covered another record 142 games.
There is also now coverage of college basketball and football games through GMC Hoops and GMC Gridiron, and last year, we expanded our girls basketball coverage, and hope to continue doing so this coming season. This past season, GMC Hoops covered its 1,800th game all-time, and now totals 1,840 games since the launch of the web site prior to opening night of the 2000-01 season. Speaking off the web site, did you know that it was not originally gmchoops.com?
Yes, when Greg Machos first put together the site in the spring of 2000, the site originally ran off of Geocities, which was a part of Yahoo. It wasn’t until November of 2000 that the gmchoops.com domain was purchased and used. There have been a number of people along the way, who have contributed to the site, and went on to have success of their own: Korbid Thompson of King James Radio, Alex Schiffer, who now covers University of Missouri Sports, and Anthony Colucci, who has moved on to Penn State.
Both Schiffer and Colucci covered St. Joseph’s Basketball as it rose to the top of the state with the likes of Quenton DeCosey, Danny Brix, Karl Anthony Towns, Wade Baldwin, Marques Townes, Raven Owen, Jimbo Long, James Ziemba, Bree Tyree, and Tyus Battle. Thompson covered North Brunswick for several years before moving on to broadcast high school games in North Jersey, and eventually founding the King James Radio Network, which covers not only North Brunswick HS sports, but had been covering sports at Timothy Christian as well as Youth Basketball in Central Jersey.
Special thanks goes to not only Korbid, Alex, and Anthony for their help, but also James Corrigan for his work over the past three seasons. From his radio broadcasts during his first two years to the live stream broadcasts this year. Corrigan has also branched out to cover Sayreville Football in the fall and St. Peter’s men’s basketball during the winter. Corrigan’s voice as well as his signature, “Oh Doctor!”, have not only made him a household name around Middlesex County, but an important figure helping promote the GMC Hoops brand.
We have also been grateful for all the support from the beginning also came from the likes of Mike Pavlichko of WCTC 1450 AM. Mike, Korbid, and James have all given GMC Hoops opportunity to discuss the latest goings on around the GMC, which not only help immensely in getting the word out for GMC Hoops but also help Greg Machos feel more comfortable doing interviews. Doing the work of GMC Hoops has also helped Machos do more traveling, which he did not do much of until early 1999. Now, he has been to every school and every gym in the GMC, and sees every team at least twice per season.
Finally, we would like to thank the players, parents, fans, students, coaches, and ADs for their support during the years. Some of these people such as Shalonda Tanner (Dunellen), Frank Fasulo (Colonia), Rich Dudas (South River) and the folks at South River TV-35 for providing updates and info about their teams. Your help has made our job a bit easier. It has been a journey with some ups and downs along the way, but has always continued in an upward climb. Although there have been many changes over the years that have made our ability to do all of this more challenging, We have enjoyed the ride.