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Former NBA Players Inspire Youth

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 recently at the Town of Oyster Bay Hicksville Athletic Center. The young athletes from Hicksville and surrounding communities 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 tee-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. The goal of this program is to give boys and girls a way to interact with 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,” said National PAL Event Coordinator Jeff Hood.

“The positive interaction between the former NBA players and the young people is exactly what PAL is all about. 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,” said Commanding Officer Nassau County Police Activity League Sgt. Doug Kenah.

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

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com