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Former Pro Players Inspire Youth

Young people from Levittown 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 Levittown, young people from Bethpage, Hicksville, Massapequa, Oyster Bay, Plainview, Roosevelt, New Hyde Park, 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 leanred 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

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”

A little bit of Hollywood has come to Plainview. The Loft Sound Studio, a Plainview-based vocal and performance training facility, is the creation of lifelong music artist Donnie Klang

and Matthew LaPorte. The duo says that they draw upon their personal experience of the ups and downs of the recording industry to give kids today the chance to be superstars.

 

“Essentially, we’re looking for the next Justin Bieber, someone we can train and teach them how to really become an artist, put them on YouTube and hope they really blow up,” said

LaPorte. “If they do, through our connections that we made while we were in the music industry the past 15 years, we would try and get them a record deal.”

 

The Loft Studio, located at 1530 Old Country Road, already has a list of achievements, including protégé Madison Beer, who got attention after Justin Bieber tweeted a link to a video of her singing. She is currently signed to a record deal on Bieber’s label in Los Angles.


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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