Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Rising Stars Youth Foundation: Remembering Friends

Paul Savramis
Rising Stars Youth Foundation is sad to announce the passing of high school prospecting scout Tom Konchalski and also of Nick Gimpel, uncle of RSYF Executive Director Dan Gimpel. Here, the organization reflects on the lives of two longtime friends. 
Q: Who is Tom Konchalski? 
RSYF: Tom was a prolific figure in the world of high school basketball. For more than four decades, he was one of the most notable high school basketball scouts in the US. He also ran the Basketball Insider Report since shortly after beginning his career. Tom also served as the owner and lead of the Five-Star Basketball Camp, which was attended by Stephen Curry, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, and other basketball greats in high school. 
Q: What stands out about Mr. Konchalski’s career? 
RSYF: One of the things that stands out the most was that the Basketball Insider Report was actually written on a typewriter and then copied and mailed out 16 times every year. There were more than 200 college coaches that relied on Tom’s knowledge and intuition of high school basketball players. Tom was affectionately called “The Glider” for his ability to move in and out of games unnoticed, despite his high-profile position. 
Q: How will RSYF remember Nick Gimpel? 
RSYF: Nick, who is Executive Director Dan Gimpel’s uncle, influenced Dan to go to college and play basketball. Coincidentally, he and Tom were also the closest of friends and attended Archbishop Molly together. They shared an innate fondness for NYC basketball. Dan has many of his own fond memories having the two be his biggest fans throughout his professional career. Nick and Dan were often spotted at Rising Stars functions together. 
Q: How did Nick Gimpel influence Dan? 
RSYF: Dan has often said that his uncle Nick actually didn’t play basketball in high school. He did, however, encourage Dan to grab a ball and enroll at Georgia. Dan often says that his uncle Nick was instrumental in helping him define his core beliefs and, as such, molding the core of the Rising Stars Youth Foundation. 
The entire RSYF family is deeply saddened by the loss of both Tom Konchalski and Nick Gimpel. These two men were and remain important to the organization as a whole and their legacy lives on.