Harrison’s Danielian overcomes obstacle to reach 1,000-point milestone

It was a blow to the face that sent shockwaves throughout the town of Harrison.

Harrison High School senior basketball standout Timothy Danielian took an inadvertent elbow to his face during a recent game.

The result of the blow? A severely broken nose that was going to require surgery to not only repair the break, but also to insure the nasal passages were cleared enough for Danielian to breathe properly.

“I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play again,” Danielian said.

What made the injury even more damaging is that Danielian was just eight points shy of the magical 1,000-point milestone.

If Danielian was going to be out for the season, it meant he would have a lifetime of regret, knowing he came so close to the memorable moment. With the Blue Tide struggling through a tough season, this injury would have been the most hurtful blow that Danielian had to endure all year.

“The doctors told me that I might not be able to play,” Danielian said.

But then, there was a solution. The doctors could hold off on the surgery for a week and enable Danielian to play one last game. It would have been a first-round game in the Hudson County Tournament against University Charter.

“The doctors said on a Monday that I would be able to play on Saturday, then have the surgery the next week,” Danielian said. “I took advantage of the opportunity.”

Danielian had a brilliant final game in a Blue Tide uniform, scoring 28 points to catapult him into the 1,000-point club. He was then able to have successful surgery on his nose. It was unfortunate that he had to miss the final seven games of his high school career, but he doesn’t have to worry about having major regret for the rest of his life.

It’s a huge accomplishment,” Danielian said. “I never thought I’d get it.”
Considering that Danielian scored all of four points his freshman season, it’s beyond a major accomplishment. But when Danielian first started playing for Harrison, there was Quincy Rutherford (now playing at Rutgers-Newark) and Johnathan Leiras (formerly of the Patrick School) on the Blue Tide roster.

“With Quincy and John on the team, I didn’t score much,” Danielian said. “My junior year, I picked it up a lot and scored more.”

Leiras got his 1,000th point last year for the Blue Tide before leaving for the Patrick School, but is not playing there this season.

“When John got it last year, it was a great accomplishment and I wondered if I could get it,” Danielian said.

Danielian, who was cut from his middle school team a few years ago, was determined to become a solid high school basketball player, spending long hours working on his game at the Harrison Recreation Center. Danielian would head to the facility in the early hours before school started to get in approximately 500 shots a day. Getting up at the crack of dawn to take shot after shot on your own? That’s beyond dedication.

“It shows you what you can do if you put hard work into it,” Danielian said. “I thought if I made the varsity, then maybe I could achieve other goals with my life. I thought basketball goes a long way in life as well.”

Harrison head coach Bill Mullins, who has coached 1,000-point scorers on both the boys’ and girls’ levels, was impressed with Danielian’s perseverance through the injury _ and even before. Losing a talented teammate like Leiras to transfer didn’t make life easier for Danielian. He had to take on a lot of pressure being the main scorer and leader.

“He really worked hard for this,” Mullins said. “He’s always working on his game. He’s working on the fundamental parts of the game, the dribbling, the shooting. He tried to get physically bigger and stronger. He wants to play at the next level and is determined to get there. Hopefully, he’ll get that shot.”

Mullins said that it’s always impressive when a player reaches the 1,000-point club.

“It’s a special thing, a special night,” Mullins said. “It’s a well deserved honor. Timmy worked extremely hard to get there. We had a lot of competitive games this season and we missed him when he couldn’t play. Timmy is a great shooter. He can really stick it. He’s a silent type of scorer. When he’s scoring, you don’t really notice him until after the game is over and check the book. He really has a great shot.”

Danielian doesn’t know yet where he’s headed for college, but he knows he wants to play. He’s been visiting schools and talking to coaches to contemplate his future.

“I’m still thinking about what school I want to go to,” Danielian said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. I wish my season would have lasted a little longer, but I’m glad I got the chance to play that game.”
And reach the impressive 1,000-point club. It’s something Danielian will hold onto for the rest of his life.


Harrison High School senior Timothy Danielian (center) celebrates scoring the 1,000th point of his illustrious career recently with his sister Tiffany Danielian (left) and his mother Silvia Danielian (right). Photo courtesy of Harrison High School athletics

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Jim Hague | Observer Sports Writer

Sports Writer Jim Hague was with The Observer for 20+ years — and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports journalism. The St. Peter’s Prep and Marquette alum kicked off his journalism career post Marquette at the Daily Record, where he remained until 1985. Following shorts stints at two other newspapers, in September 1986, he joined the now-closed Hudson Dispatch, where he remained until 1991, when its doors were finally shut.

It was during his tenure at The Dispatch that Hague’s name and reputation as one of country’s hardest-working sports reporters grew. He won several New Jersey Press Association and North Jersey Press Club Awards in that timeframe.

In 1991, he became a columnist for The Hudson Reporter chain of newspapers — and he remains with them to this day.

In addition to his work at The Observer and The Hudson Reporter, Hague is also an Associated Press stringer, where he covers Seton Hall University men’s basketball, New York Red Bulls soccer and occasionally, New Jersey Devils hockey.

He’s also doing work at The Morristown Daily Record, the very newspaper where his journalism career began.

During his career, he also worked for Dorf Feature Services, which provided material for the Star-Ledger. While there, he covered the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.

Hague is also known for his announcing work — and he’s done PA work for Rutgers Newark and NJIT.

Hague is the author of the book “Braddock: The Rise of the Cinderella Man.”