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This profile was last updated on 7/2/09  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Wally Choice

Wrong Wally Choice?
 
Background

Employment History

  • President and Executive Director
    Montclair Grass Roots
  • President
    Montclair Grass Roots

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Founder
    Montclair Grass Roots
8 Total References
Web References
When former Harlem Globetrotter and NBA ...
www.montclairtimes.com, 2 July 2009 [cached]
When former Harlem Globetrotter and NBA draft pick Wally Choice was growing up on Mission Street, he lacked any means to leave the neighborhood, and Glenfield Park "was all we had at that time," Choice said.
Years later, after retiring from a career in basketball, Choice returned to the place of his roots, and dedicated more than 40 years to the county park that had played such a major role in his formative years.
When Choice and his wife Celine's only son, also named Wally, was about five years old, "I wanted to make sure he had a place to go," the elder Choice said. "It became evident there was a need," and, along with a group of residents, Choice established Montclair Grass Roots in 1968, aiming to make Glenfield Park the community gathering place it had been during his youth.
...
"Mr. Choice has been a positive role model for generations of young people ... laying a strong foundation that has helped alumni of the Grass Roots program to find success throughout their lives," DiVincenzo stated.
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Born on Willowdale Avenue and raised on Mission Street, Choice, now in his mid-70s, played for the Mountie basketball team and earned a scholarship to play hoops at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he met his future wife, to whom he has been married for 51 years.
During his freshman year, the 6-foot-5-inch Choice became the second African-American student athlete to play on the team, and that year the Indiana Hoosiers also became NCAA champions. Eventually, Choice would become the team's first African-American captain.
After graduation, Choice was drafted to play for the St. Louis Hawks at a time when the National Basketball Association consisted of eight teams, and the league only extended as far west as St. Louis, Mo.
The Hawks "drafted 10 of us and none of us went to camp," Choice said. "In those days, that was common."
One alternative was the Globetrotters, a team with which Choice toured the world for about three years. After that, he entered the Eastern League, consisting of about nine East Coast teams, and played for five years for the Trenton Colonials and the Madisons, of Easton, Pa., he said.
Later, Choice would again be a draft pick - for the U.S. Army, serving at Fort Dix for 18 months while he and his family resided in Corona, N.Y.
In 1962, the Choice family moved back to Montclair, where Wally Choice bought an ice cream, soda shop and drug store he frequented as a boy, the Elm Pharmacy on Bloomfield Avenue, renamed it the Choice Pharmacy and ran it for 10 years. He later operated the Lackawanna Shoe and Parcel Service, inside the Lackawanna Plaza mall, for 20 years.
The County of Essex, NJ
www.essex-countynj.org, 10 April 2006 [cached]
It's a model that counties and towns can follow about how to get the community involved," said Wally Choice of Montclair Grass Roots, which submitted an application for improvements to Essex County's Glenfield Park in Montclair. "We went so long without any attention being given to the parks. It's a pleasure to be a part of what we are accomplishing today," he added.
County of Essex New Jersey Web Site
www.essex-countynj.org, 10 June 2009 [cached]
The work being done to that field will make it safe for those children," said Wally Choice, President and Executive Director of Montclair Grass Roots.
Untitled Document
www.essex-countynj.org, 1 Jan 2003 [cached]
"This system has needed to be improved for the last 30 years and you've done it in just 18 months," said Wally Choice, President of Montclair Grassroots. The non-profit group has provided programs for senior citizens and children in Glenfield Park for 37 years.
The County of Essex, NJ
www.essex-countynj.org, 30 Aug 2005 [cached]
Joe DiVincenzo has made the park system into a gem for the whole community," said Wally Choice, President of Montclair Grass Roots, Inc., which has been offering recreation programs at
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