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Editorial: Hoopster Humanitarian

In one of the cover stories for last week’s issue of Garden City Life, I had the privilege and honor of sitting down with Donald “Red” Goldstein. One of the hooks for this feature had to do with the fact that while attending Louisville University, he had the opportunity to play in the 1959 NCAA Final Four against future NBA Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. And while that is a notable achievement in of itself, the former Detroit Pistons second-round draft pick chose to walk away from the game and go into dentistry, because in addition to having no family to financially lean on, he “liked people, doing for people and I’m still doing that.”

He first hung his shingle out in 1967 and while the 74-year-old has lightened his workload by working two days a week for half the year at Dental Arts of Garden City, he hasn’t stopped giving back. The other half of the year, Dr. Goldstein is a snowbird who flies south to Del Ray, FL. The two days a week he practices is at a Catholic mission where he donates dental care to poor migrant workers because, “that’s how I do my giving back for all the good things I have.” Next month, he is going to be deservingly inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a star at Samuel J. Tilden High School and the University of Louisville. In my eyes, the humanitarianism he continues to practice is right up alongside any game-winning shot he ever made.

– Dave Gil de Rubio