LIC YMCA Junior Knicks Do Battle at MSG
Jan 21, 2009 | 5261 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The LIC YMCA Team (Left to Right)
Front Row: Michael McKenna, Jordan Sinnott, Ronald Brisby, Daniel Sylvester, Natalia Escobar and Nawang Tenzin Sherpa
Back Row: Lara McFadden, Coach Thomas Sylvester, Jorden Cooper-Means, Ciara Walsh, Coach Nomar Gonzalez, Samantha Mattson, Game Referee
The LIC YMCA Team (Left to Right) Front Row: Michael McKenna, Jordan Sinnott, Ronald Brisby, Daniel Sylvester, Natalia Escobar and Nawang Tenzin Sherpa Back Row: Lara McFadden, Coach Thomas Sylvester, Jorden Cooper-Means, Ciara Walsh, Coach Nomar Gonzalez, Samantha Mattson, Game Referee
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On Saturday, January 17, 2009, during halftime of the New York Knicks against the Philadelphia 76ers the Long Island City YMCA Junior Knicks team played the Bronx YMCA Junior Knicks team. Even though the final score favored Long Island City the result of the game was 20 winners! These 20 young people representing over 450 combined players participating at these two branches had an unforgettable experience. On this night the two teams were treated by the host Knicks to a pre-game meal at the Play by Play restaurant, floor seats for the pre-game shoot around, an opportunity to meet Knick legend John Starks, rookie Danilo Gallainari and Knick great Allan Houston and most exciting of all the opportunity of a young lifetime to play on The Garden floor.

While most of us only dream of being able to play on the hardwood at the World’s Most Famous Arena” these twenty players between the ages of 9 and 11 were able to live that dream. They took in all that the experience had to offer and seemed to enjoy every minute of it. Some of the players were awestruck by being on such a big stage but most just liked the idea of playing a game they love on such a “nice” court. Each of the players had at least one parent on hand to witness their big moment. Both players and parents were thankful that they had been offered this special opportunity to participate. The Garden crowd seemed to eat up the performances of these young players, cheering not just for the baskets scored but the great defensive plays, passing and teamwork.

Each year the Junior Knicks Program, now nineteen years old, serves almost 8000 players city wide in a partnership between the YMCA of Greater New York and the New York Knicks with the sponsorship of Sprite and Foot Locker. The program emphasizes learning the game of basketball, developing athletic and social skills while practicing the YMCA's core values of respect, responsibility, honesty and caring. In addition, there are hundreds of volunteers throughout the city that make the program possible. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer contact your local YMCA. To volunteer your time or enroll your child in Youth Sports Programs at LIC YMCA please contact, Thomas Sylvester at 718-392-7932 x239 or by email at tsylvester@ymcanyc.org.

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