Inaugural Spring Break Basketball Invitational
By Donizetti Gonzalez, Director of Teen Services
During the April spring break, the Y opened it's doors in a unique and unprecedented way. We hosted our first ever Middle School Basketball Invitational Tournament for six teams, bringing in nearly 100 youth from our community. Players, parents, school administrators, and members of our community raved about the opportunity and commended the Y for coordinating this opportunity for our community youth.
From April 10 to April 12, the players engaged in high-level competition, while demonstrating great sportsmanship throughout the invitational. On the third and final day of the tournament, the Y crowned United Prospects as the champions, KIPP STAR took 2nd place team, and our very own SONYC After School Program at Columbia Secondary School came in 3rd place.
In addition to the basketball invitational, the Y also hosted a 2 day basketball clinic on April 13 and April 14 for participants from our community ages 11-16. While the clinic offered our youth with the opportunity to build on their fundamental basketball skills, it also explored the importance of being model citizens, agents of change, and assessing their future outside of sports.
With only 5% of high school athletes across the country being selected to play college level basketball, our instructors from Global Professional Sports spent time speaking to participants about how they can best prepare themselves for life after a high school basketball career. They supported the young teens in making a connection between the skills that they have developed through basketball -- such as leadership, team work, discipline, practice, and commitment -- and the opportunities that await them outside of the gym which will support them in strengthening our community.
Our participants were grateful for the opportunity to engage in positive activities during spring break and they are looking forward to engaging in similar initiatives at the Y in the future!