Will Shortz Xword

Will Shortz Appearance to Benefit MVP Scholarship Fund

NY Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz has become famous to puzzle solvers across America, as well as weekend NPR listeners who hear his voice regularly. But Will’s association with MVP Basketball Camp started because of his other passion, ping pong.

Will owns the Westchester Table Tennis Center, a 14,000 square foot facility with 19 tables that MVP has called home to its annual Ping Pong Madness fundraiser since 2011. According to an article in Sports Illustrated, Will has not missed playing ping pong one day since October 3, 2012, when the club he visited during a trip to Croatia closed early before he got there.

Now Will Shortz has graciously chosen MVP Basketball Camp as his charity of choice to benefit from an event sponsored by the Journal News. The puzzle master will play interactive games with the audience for one hour prior to a special showing of the documentary film “Word Play” at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Central Avenue in Yonkers. Advance tickets can be purchased at https://tickets.lohud.com/

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Image copyright Jane Haslam Photography 2015

2016 – Best Lineup of Locations Ever!

Image copyright Jane Haslam Photography 2015

MVP is very pleased to be back at our long-time White Plains facility, the Highlands Middle School. As an added bonus, the larger of the two indoor gyms at Highlands has been completely remodeled.

However, since the smaller Highlands gym is being re-done this summer and won’t be available, MVP is still placing two of its age groups for the White Plains weeks inside Ebersole Ice Rink at Delfino Park. This facility worked out really well last year. Parents and children loved that the space was open air to allow for cool breezes but covered to keep away a baking sun or sudden shower.

MVP will start the summer up at North Salem High School and Middle School, which features two full sized gyms, one right across the hall from the other. With three age groups there this summer instead of two, the outdoor courts at this facility will also be utilized. Free busing will be provided from White Plains and Bedford.

For MVP’s “Skills Academy” the from July 5 – 8, MVP is happy to announce it’s first ever camp located in Rye at the Resurrection School on Boston Post Road. This facility features two air-conditioned gyms plus outside courts, making this an awesome site for MVP.

To view specific addresses and maps for each location, visit the Camp Locations page on this website.

Image copyright Jane Haslam Photography 2015

What To Bring, What We Provide (Yogurt compliments of Dannon)

Hoops for Troops

Whether you are joining in Northern Westchester, Rye, or White Plains, use this checklist to make sure you are prepared for a fun-filled week of basketball!

  • Medications: The MVP trainer will collect any medications every Monday morning. When you drop off your camper, please come inside to drop off the medication and sign a consent form for our Certified Athletic Trainer to administer the medication if need be.
  • Sunscreen: Campers will be outside for a portion of the day at all our camp locations this summer. Although we’ll make sure that campers are inside for at least half the day, it will be important for them to be protected when they are outside. Our trainer will have sunscreen on hand if necessary.
  • Attire: Each camper will receive two MVP team t-shirts. Campers should wear gym shorts and any t-shirt that they can change out of on Day 1. After the first day, they must wear the MVP t-shirt. Please wear sneakers.
  • Water bottle: Campers should bring a water bottle with their name on it to minimize the need for cups. Campers will have access to water stations on the sidelines of game areas. You are welcome to send other drinks and/or snacks as well if you choose.
  • Lunch Program The plan is for this program to be the same as in past years but it is subject to change as we get closer to camp:
    • Monday: Plain pizza
    • Tuesday: Pasta and sauce (no meat) – may vary by week
    • Wednesday: McDonald’s burgers
    • Thursday: Choice of plain or pepperoni pizza
    • Friday: Italian subs, choice of ham and cheese, turkey and cheese, turkey no cheese. Mayo and mustard on the side
    • We’ll put out Dannon yogurt and bananas for those who want them.
    • We have refrigerators for brown bag lunches if you prefer, but no microwave.
    • Gatorade will be served with lunch
  • What not to bring:There are no lockers and MVP cannot be responsible for anything brought by the camper. This includes cell phones and other electronic devices. Campers leave their bags all around the campus and we have had incidents of phones going missing, so we encourage you to consider letting our staff handle communications between you and your campers. You can call us anytime at (914) 946-1231.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Watch our new “One Word Answer” Video

We asked campers what one word came to mind when they thought of MVP Basketball Camp. Watch their responses in this brief video. We think it substantiates our claim that MVP is not just a place for fun and games (although there is plenty of that!) It’s also a place to develop life skills that can translate to the classroom and beyond.

 

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Annual “Ping Pong Madness Fundraiser” Coming April 1

DSC_0635 (3)MVP Basketball Camp’s fifth annual evening of games, food, and drink will benefit MVP’s Youth Development Scholarship Program. Last year’s event raised almost $20,000, which by itself funded 60 of the 300 scholarships that MVP granted to children whose families couldn’t afford summer camp tuition.

Join us Friday, April 1 for socializing, ping pong, and lots of food and drink. The event takes place at the Westchester Table Tennis Center in Pleasantville, NY. We’ll feature great raffle prizes and silent auction items. If you can’t make it, you can still call us at 914-946-1231 in advance and place your bid on a few select auction items including a signed Kevin Durant Thunder jersey and a signed Kristaps Porzingis 16X20 photo.

There will be plenty of special activities for kids at the event including a magician. Attendees can test their skills in one of two ping pong tournaments (one for ages 14 and under and the other for adults.) Or just find an open table and challenge you someone you know to a friendly game.

Although club owner Will Shortz of NPR and NY Times fame will be out of town, we’ll give away signed copies of his crossword puzzle books. Other raffle items include $100 gift cards for Tommie Copper merchandise, lift tickets to Thunder Ridge for next winter, and plenty of gift certificates for local restaurants. The event will run from 6:30pm until 10pm. In case of snow, the reschedule date will be Sunday of that same weekend with a little earlier start and end time.

Flyer w/ Application
On-line Event Registration

If you can’t attend, you can make a tax deductible donation online anytime and help us keep founder Stan Greene’s vision alive. MVP has never turned away a camper due to an inability to pay, although we only accept students who demonstrate effort in the classroom.

6-8 Year Olds Programs

New and Secure Online Registration Process

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Welcome to MVP’s brand new website, which features an all-new online registration system on an encrypted SSL server. Whether you use this function or prefer the traditional pen and paper exercise, you will find that MVP has consolidated several processes into one.

There will no longer be a need for a separate “Health and Release Form.” Just be sure you fill in the required fields on the online form, or give us the information we ask for on the paper form, and we will have all the medical information we need to make sure your camper is safely in the hands of our well-trained staff and highly qualified certified athletic trainer.

Scholarship applicants will also find an all-in-one process without the need for separate forms for enrollment and scholarship request . You can also now use the online system to submit information if you prefer that over our paper form. However, you will still be asked to mail, fax, or email documentation of income and a letter of recommendation separately and you must wait for verbal confirmation that your scholarship has been granted before any weeks can be reserved and any additional non-scholarship weeks can be paid for at our new 25% off price.

Here are the links you need

Online Form (for both scholarship and non-scholarship applicants)
OR
MVP 2016 Application – Nonscholarship
MVP 2016 Scholarship Application

Fourth Annual Ping Pong Night a Big Success!

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60 scholarships now possible

MVP Basketball Camp raised enough money this past Sunday at it’s annual Ping Pong Madness fundraiser to cover the tuition of sixty children for the upcoming summer basketball camp. In the process, a lot of fun was had whacking ping pong balls around the Westchester Table Tennis Center in Pleasantville, New York. Attendees of the event tested their skills in a tournament or just challenged a friend, and between games there was plenty of food, drink, and other entertainment for the whole family.

Sponsors

There are too many people to thank in one article, but we should start with our gold level sponsors:

– The Rosenberg family
– The Samberg family
– The Nossel family
– The Gelfman family
– The Scherr family
– David and Fay Paget

Also generous donations of food and wine were received from:

– Whole Foods of White Plains
– Trader Joe’s of Hartsdale
– Captain LawrenceDSC_0688 (3) Brewery in Elmsford
– Hilltop Wines in Chappaqua
– La Famiglia Pizza in Katonah
– Martine’s in Scarsdale
– Lulu’s in Scarsdale
– Patisserie Salzburg in Scarsdale
– Scarsdale Pizza Station

Oliver Gibbons of Bronxville won the open division tournament. Aaron DiChristina (right) beat his friend Logan Baumgartner (left) to take home the trophy in the 13 and under age group.

Magician Joe Fields entertained the young kids while the older ones gravitated to the TV to watch the Brooklyn Nets opening round playoff game.  Silent auction tables attracted plenty of attention, thanks in large part to the memorabilia items offered up by our friends at Steiner Sports.

MVP also featured its newest camp video, which you can watch now on Vimeo.

MVP Basketball Camp is a 501 c3 Charitable organization with a mission to give as many camp scholarships as possible to children whose parents can’t afford camp tuition. You can make an online donation anytime at mvpbasketballcamp.org/donation

MVP Basketball Camp’s 20th Anniversary

TentMVP Basketball Camp is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this summer and has received a proclamation from the county recognizing 5,000 scholarships granted since inception. The scholarship program has enabled children to attend the camp regardless of financial means, a dream for founder Stanley D. Greene. The camp is very popular among Westchester County residents, but many may be unaware of MVP’s ­­­­unusual history.

Stan Greene’s parents could not afford for Stan to attend summer camp when he was growing up, a fact he never forgot when he started MVP. Stan loved basketball and played on Harvard University’s Varsity team. He had a long and successful business career, then in his retirement he worked as a coach at several basketball camps. He noticed these camps were only for families who could afford to pay the tuition. This is what triggered Stan to create MVP Basketball Camp as a non-profit organization. Stan Green explained his selection of the name of the camp. “MVP usually means ‘Most Valuable Player,’ but at our camp it means ‘Most Valued Person.’ Our goal is to treat each camper as a Most Valued Person. Through the game of basketball we help to guide each camper along the passageway of life’s experience. If we can accomplish that goal, we will consider our efforts rewarded.”

Boys Raise Money For Scholarships

Robbie, the 7 year old grandson of MVP Basketball Camp’s founder Stan Greene, attended MVP in the summer of 2013, and according to his mom he had a blast. His brother Sammie was still not old enough to be part of the “Junior MVP’s,” the youngest age group at camp, but he got to visit camp and he is itching to go next summer. During camp the boys heard that some children come to MVP from families that can’t afford summer camp. So these two entrepreneurs decided to make and sell loom bracelets to raise money for MVP’s scholarship program.

The boys set up shop in front of their building in New York City. Robbie was the salesman. His speech to his customers was “the charity we are raising money for is a camp I went to called MVP in White Plains and the money will go to paying for a child who wants to go to the camp but can’t afford it”. Sammie was the cashier and helped people select bracelets. His cash register is clearly state of the art.

The sale was a great success. The boys raised $85 for MVP, and thanks to all the beautiful bracelets the whole neighborhood became a bit more fashionable. Robbie and Sammie hope that other kids will take up their idea and add to their total. $280 will fund the attendance of one child at MVP Basketball Camp, which Westchester Magazine named “Best Sports Camp in 2013.”

MVP gave scholarships to 368 boys and girls in 2013. All scholarship recipients had to submit a letter of recommendation from school. MVP believes that the game of basketball offers great opportunities to teach broader life skills like hard work, perseverance, and attention to detail, and the scholarship recipients know that they must display these characteristics during the school year to ensure a teacher recommendation that will allow them to return in the future.

MVP’s third annual “Ping Pong Madness” fundraiser will be held this year on March 21st at the Westchester Table Tennis Center. This year’s event will tie in to NCAA March Madness, with round of 64 basketball games being televised live during the night and lots of fun contests and prizes based on the results of these games.

As usual, there will be plenty of tables to test your ping pong skills, including the ever popular tournaments, plus lots of food, drink, and music. This is a fun event for the whole family starting at 6:30. Please call me at (914) 946-1231 for more information including sponsor packages, and look for online registration on MVP’s website just after the New Year. If you can’t make the event, please consider a tax deductible donation anytime to MVP’s Youth Development Scholarship Program. Or host your own event like Robbie and Sammie!

Varsity Skills Academy

For 2013, MVP Basketball Camp has announced a three day Varsity Skills Academy for 14 – 16 year old players developing a varsity-level game. The academy will include separate programs for boys and girls in this age range. For years MVP administered a similar program just for girls which was very well received, but the program ran at the same time and location as a regular MVP camp week and challenged the size of the White Plains Middle School facility. By running its varsity program July 1 – 3 this year when its programs for younger children are not in session, MVP can add a boys varsity division also with plenty of indoor court space for both.

While the final coaching rosters are not set yet, the academy will be led by MVP’s most experienced coaches, including Section 1 head coaches on both the boys and girls side, plus coaches with experience in the college ranks. Unlike a “regular” camp week at MVP, where participants are placed on a team each Monday and play games throughout the week leading up to a playoffs, the academy will features scrimmages rather than games and a stronger emphasis on teaching stations and one on one instruction.

In an effort to provide insight into whether or not this program is right for your son or daughter, our camp brochure states “JV or Varsity experience preferred but not required.”  We recognize that many children who will be 14 years old as of the start of camp are unlikely to have had the opportunity to try out for JV or Varsity yet. As a general rule of thumb, to be ready for this level of instruction younger participants should have significant experience playing organized basketball, most likely in AAU or other travel programs, and have definite plans to try out for JV or Varsity in the near future. Equally important, younger participants should be enthusiastic about the opportunity to challenge themselves against strong competition.

MVP Basketball Camp is known for fun contests, giveaways, and an awards ceremony where everyone is recognized, and these elements of a fun summer camp experience will still be there during the varsity academy. However, the emphasis will be on serious skills development.  As always, MVP will offer scholarship awards for this program if parents of deserving children can’t afford camp tuition. The result will be a relatively diverse camper population that allows the serious player to meet and compete against kids from many different cultures and backgrounds.