CYO Suspends SIX St. Cecilia Hoops Teams
Jan 20, 2012 | 4437 views | 3 3 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In an unprecedented move last week program directors from the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) suspended all six boys basketball teams from St. Cecilia Parish in Greenpoint. According to a source at CYO, the six teams from the program reportedly had players that league directors deemed as illegal according to age and/or residence rules. These issues were discovered only after opposing teams protested games played.

The teams ranged in age groups from 8 years old (sub novice - 3rd grade) to 14 years old (intermediate – 8th grade). “The program from that parish is more like an AAU program, which might typically recruit and travel – and even play a 12 month schedule… and that doesn’t fit with the level of our teams, which are typically made up of children who live in one or two neighborhoods, and don’t really need to have exceptional skill to make the team,” said the source. “It makes for very lopsided competition, which helps nobody involved.”

But Ann Pinto, the 15-year director for the St. Cecilia basketball program has a different view of the move. “They suspended my 5 & 6 year-old team? Come on …. They don’t even keep score at that level. That’s ridiculous and the parents of my 91 kids want answers,” she said in a phone interview Tuesday. “The six teams … all my rosters have been the same for years. Why now … in the middle of the season?”

She talked about her intermediate division team with passion on Tuesday. “I’ve had 7 boys on the 8th grade team for 6 years now. They have played together all that time and have practiced 3 days a week and played in league after league, tournament after tournament. Of course they are good. We all work at it. These boys attended St. Cecilia, when it was open. Then it closed and they are now going somewhere else to school… so they now lose their eligibility? It doesn’t make sense.” She says officials from CYO need to sit down with her so they can see the map of where they all live.

“We don’t have another parish with a team they can play on south of our parish for miles. Where else can these kids play?”

Dr. Joe Catenello, director of CYO spoke to us just before press time Tuesday. He said he has spoken to Ann on at least four occasions in the past 6 weeks. “This was not sprung on Ann,” he said. He has also spoken to Fr. Grande, the pastor of Devine Mercy (which is the merged parishes of St. Cecilia and St. Francis of Paola) on a number of occasions. “We offered an alternative basketball program for the younger teams to join – and told him that the suspension was just for this season,” Catanello said. “This is the first time that teams officially protested some of the games against St. Cecilia. They were official protests that we had an obligation to examine – and we did get information that points to a problem,” he said.

Phone calls to Fr. Grande were not returned by press time.
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ANNE PINTO
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January 21, 2012
An offer for the younger teams to join, was never mentioned at any time, and when the first phone call came in about the suspensions, I offered to bring my paperwork to CYO, and told by Deacon Joe, NO I need to have my Moderator Fr Grandy with me, and so on went with the Holidays, and after the Holidays, nothing - no meeting, then Deacon Joe and Fr Grandy decided to send the protests to Fr Grandy and another two weeks went by still with NO MEETING ! Its a disgrace, keeping 98 kids off the courts, but here at St Cecilia, we are in 2 other leagues and many many tournaments ! STILL WAITING FOR A SCHEDULED MEETING -
SHAME LESS
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April 03, 2012
We all know that on point aau and st cecilias team are the same. kids from all over play in that parish because of the way the system works. You donate 1 dollar in an envelope with your name and address and as long as you do it a couple times a year it becomes your parish even if you live the bronx. All CYO teams do it they just got caught
Joseph McCoy
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December 26, 2012
I want to play for the onpoint cyclones how does it work like how can I try out for your team Anne Pinto

St.cecilia is a great team and good coaching