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Former Pro Players Inspire Plainview Youth

Young people from Plainview-Old Bethpage got a lesson in pro hoops at a recent Police Athletic League event at the Town of Oyster Bay Hicksville Athletic Center.

Former NBA/WNBA standouts Vin Baker, Wes Matthews, Anthony Avent and Tamecka Dixon served as youth coaches at a program sponsored by National Basketball Retired Players Association, National Police Athletic/Activities League for National Urban League and Nassau County PAL.

The “Full Court Press: Prep for Success” youth basketball and life skills clinic was held for more than 120 Nassau County Police Activity League (NCPAL) and local Urban League boys and girls. Besides Plainview-Old Bethpage, young people from Bethpage, Hicksville, Levittown, Oyster Bay, East Norwich, Massapequa, Roosevelt, New Hyde Park, Valley Stream, Wantagh, Seaford and other communities from across the region participated in basketball skills sessions and competitive games led by former star NBA players, and attended life skills workshops conducted by Urban League instructors. The kids were given t-shirts, lunch, certificates of completion and autographs from retired NBA players.  

NBA/WNBA retired basketball players and clinic instructors Vin Baker, a four-time NBA All-Star/Olympic Gold Medalist, Wes Matthews Sr., two-time NBA Champion/University of Wisconsin, Anthony Avent, Seton Hall University/seven-year NBA career, and Tamecka Dixon, three-time WNBA All-Star and two-time WNBA Champion inspired, instructed and interacted directly with the young players ages 10 to 16.

“It is fulfilling to know that the kids who participated in this event benefited from the skills and the years of experience of the former NBA and WNBA players,” said Jeff Hood, national PAL event coordinator. “The goal of this program is to give boys and girls a way to interact with the former NBA players and learn to play basketball better and gain self-confidence and learn teamwork. The “Full Court Press: Prep for Success” programs provides a memorable experience, which helps to instill a positive attitude for each of the boys and girls who participated.”

The commanding officer of the Nassau County Police Activity League Sgt. Doug Kenah said the youngsters eagerly learned a lot from the retired players.

“The positive interaction between the former NBA players and the young people is exactly what PAL is all about,” said Kenah. “The kids were eager to learn from the pros about basketball and success in life. The life skills workshops were productive and covered important topics such as health, education and careers. The event achieved its goal because of the hard work and planning by all involved. We thank the retired NBA players and their association, Jeff Hood of National PAL, National Urban League and all the volunteers for coming to Nassau County and hosting this event.”

“Full Court Press: Prep for Success” is a 14-city nationwide basketball and mentoring tour sponsored by National Basketball Retired Players Association, National Police Athletic/Activities League, and National Urban League. 

News

Members and guests of North Shore Synagogue’s Brotherhood BBQ and Erev Shabbat Service enjoyed a wonderful summer’s evening in early July with a classic BBQ and services led by Brotherhood, with help from Rabbi Jaimee Shalhevet and Cantor Rich Pilatsky.   

“This is a wonderful way to connect with other members of Brotherhood, which focuses on building camaraderie among our members, and instilling a strong sense of community away from the hectic pressures of our day-to-day lives,” said  Brotherhood co-president Jeffrey Levine.

Kids love amusement parks, and they especially love one aspect of these fanciful places above all others — the twists, turns and death-defying loops of the mighty roller coaster. Given the chance, it’s likely that almost any child would love the chance to actually build one of their own.

Susan Sears of Port Jefferson runs an ongoing series of science classes aimed at stimulating the growing minds of children. Recently, she was holding one of them at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library on Roller Coaster design, which she described as “a physics lesson disguised as fun.”


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