Basketball Scene Biography

Stephen Longfellow Fiske – For Love of Basketball and Music


Stephen Longfellow Fiske grew up in New York City’s Washington Heights and learned to play basketball in the schoolyards, parks, and gyms all over the city. Artistically and musically talented, Stephen attended the High School of Music and Art where he became a self taught guitarist and songwriter and played basketball for the Music and Art H.S. team.

His foundation for music was strongly influenced by the folk music scene in Greenwich Village and the songs of the Civil Rights Movement. Stephen was an avid participant in the marches and anti-establishment turmoil of the 60’s, as well as an increasingly gifted basketball player.

At City College of New York he attracted attention from major colleges, averaging 25 points for CCNY’s evening division team. At the same time he auditioned for and was invited to join a well-known folk group of the era, The New Christy Minstrels. He received a basketball scholarship to NYU and decided to stay in school, rather than join the group, lose his student deferment and face the draft during the Vietnam War. He transferred to NYU but his college career was cut short by injury.

All along Stephen continued to develop his musical talent and came to feel music to be his main calling.
In 1968 Stephen and his wife-to-be, Nikki, traveled to San Francisco where Stephen formed and became the lead singer and writer with an acid rock band, “The Bycycle.” The Bycycle performed in all the major Bay Area rock venues, including The Filmore, Winterland, and The Family Dog, and opened for such acts as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Canned Heat, and Taj Mahal.

When the band broke up, Stephen began his solo career playing in coffee houses, bars, and restaurants throughout the Bay Area. He also found success singing and doing voice-overs on a series of commercial jingles, including the long playing and award winning C&H Pure Cane Sugar commercial. Stephen, Nikki, and new son Evan, moved to Los Angeles where Stephen began recording a series of self produced albums of his songs. He had begun to pursue an intense yoga practice as a disciple of Sri Swami Satchidananda, and had become a teacher of Integral Yoga. Stephen authored a poetic and philosophical handbook, The Art of Peace {New Paradigm Books), which also includes his drawings, now in its second limited edition.

Throughout all these years Stephen continued to play basketball in pick up games and rec-leagues. He found time to coach basketball and became a high-school head coach for both boys and girls varsity (West Side H.S. boys, Santa Monica H.S. girls, Venice H.S. girls). Stephen also coached in the FILA Summer Pro League at Cal State Long Beach, working with Walt Hazzard. During this period of coaching Stephen took the LA City Basketball Officials course and refereed in youth and rec-league games. In his fifties, Stephen began competing in the Senior Olympics and Master’s Games basketball tournaments, where he has won numerous team championships and individual shooting contests. During the NBA lockout, Stephen was featured as a Principal in a Nike commercial, “Love the Game,” playing against Dwayne Wade, shown on national TV.

As a singer/songwriter/performer/recording artist/producer, Stephen has produced 9 albums of his music and has performed widely throughout the US and overseas. His songs have been recorded by such notable artists as Luther Vandross and Jose Feliciano. Over the years he has written a number of songs about basketball and has now compiled these songs into his 10th CD, “Basketball Scene” combining his love of basketball and music. In “Basketball Scene” Stephen taps into his basketball experiences and brings his skills of observation of the culture of pick-up basketball, along with a lifetime of poetic songwriting, production and musicality, to create a unique work which stands apart in its originality and narrative in painting pictures, giving profiles, and telling stories. Stephen and Nikki live in Venice Beach, California, where they have raised their three children, Evan, Elana, and Amy.