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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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

MVP sign

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

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.

Staying Cool at MVP

_JH37909Here at “the coolest camp in Westchester” we are doing our best to keep the kids cool during the summer heat. MVP has purchased a misting tent and four misting fans for the outside courts, plus a Portacool Evaporative Cooling Unit for inside use. Check out this video of campers enjoying the tent: Misting Tent

All campers will be inside for a good portion of each day. Regardless of where they are playing, MVP has numerous drink stations set up all around camp that are constantly being refilled. Each station includes two coolers to keep kids hydrated all day. MVP also features many umbrellas on the sidelines of the outdoor courts to shade the kids.

Our outstanding Certified Athletic Trainer can provide sunscreen for any camper that asks. He is also on the ready with ice bags and other supplies for overheated players.

MVP welcomes Jane Haslam Photography

MVP Basketball Camp is excited to announce a new partnership this summer with Jane Haslam Photography. Jane is a specialist in sports photography and will be providing both individual and action photography at all our camps. All the images can be found online at the link below. All parents of 2012 campers should have received the password to access the albums via e-mail and handouts from camp. If you are having trouble accessing the photos please e-mail Noel Muyskens at nmuyskens@mvpbasketballcamp.org

We hope you enjoy browsing the galleries and also please note that you have the option to buy either prints or a range of digital downloads. Best of all you will be helping MVP with every purchase, no matter how small, as a percentage from every sale will be donated back to MVP Basketball Camps.

Finally if you have any queries or requests regarding the photography please contact Jane directly via her website.

MVP’s 18th Season and Annual Fundraiser

MVP’s 18th season is just around the corner and registration is already in full swing for boys and girls ages 6 – 16. Each week is a complete session, so families can choose the week or weeks that fit into their busy summer schedules. Multiple week and multiple child discounts are available. On-line registration is available. MVP’s experienced coaches come back year after year and are the heart and soul of the program. Each day features teaching stations, fun contests, and league games leading up to a playoff in every division. Lunch is included in the price. The week culminates in a Friday awards ceremony that recognizes every camper.

MVP will open the 2012 camp season at the Fox Lane Middle School and High School Complex just off Interstate 684 at Exit 4. This Bedford camp will run from June 25 – 29. As in the past there will be three divisions for boys ages 9 – 16, and by adding the high school gyms this year MVP will have enough court space to also feature a division for girls ages 9 – 13. Many parents complain about the lack of camp alternatives during the week right after school ends. By moving the Bedford week to the end of June, MVP has taken an already popular camp and turned it into a week that may fill up very early. Enrollment is on a first come, first served basis. The camp day is 9AM to 4PM. Early drop-off and extended day are available.

The four White Plains weeks will begin this year on July 9th and are open to boys and girls ages 6 – 16. As always, the location will be the White Plains Middle School – Highlands Campus located at the intersection of Old Mamaroneck Road and Hartsdale Ave. In addition to the four divisions for older boys and girls, these weeks feature a popular “Junior MVP” co-ed program for 6 – 8 year olds. The instruction for this age group is always age appropriate and delivered in a safe and fun atmosphere. Two of the White Plains’ sessions also feature “Varsity Week” programs for strong female players ages 13 – 16. Top coaches in the section work on higher level skills in an atmosphere that resembles a varsity practice, without losing sight of the fact that summer camp should be a fun experience for all.

Ping Pong Fundraiser Planned for April

Stan Greene founded MVP Basketball Camp in 1994 with the dream that no child would ever be turned away due to an inability to pay. Stan passed away in December of 2009 after a long illness. His legacy is a basketball camp has awarded over 4000 scholarships to economically disadvantaged children, plus scholarship awards to numerous children with a family member serving in the armed forces through MVP’s “Hoops for Troops” program. On the evening of Friday, April 27th MVP will host an evening of games, food and drink at the Westchester Table Tennis Center in Pleasantville, NY to raise money for 2012 scholarships. Visit https://mvpbasketballcamp.org/pdf/ping-pong.pdf for more information including a printable application. Online registration is also available.

MVP is dedicated to youth development, and its guest speakers use the game basketball as a metaphor for the challenges adolescents face as they approach adulthood. MVP also offers internships to former campers who are looking to develop job skills in a fun atmosphere that celebrates diversity. But first and foremost, MVP is a place where boys and girls have fun playing the game they love. As one young camper says in MVP’s camp video, “it’s like we’re in the real NBA.”

Spotlight on Bob Hurley

On October 29 MVP Basketball Camp will host a clinic featuring Bob Hurley Sr., who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 along with NBA greats Karl Malone and Scottie Pippin. Not long after that, Bob Hurley was featured on 60 Minutes. Since then he hasn’t exactly rested on his laurels, winning his fourth national title and an unprecedented 26th state championship.  More importantly, he continues to graduate virtually every player who comes through his program, and has sent all but two on to college during a 39 year tenure at St. Anthony’s High School in the tough urban environment of Jersey City, New Jersey.

Coach Hurley has been a guest speaker at MVP Basketball Camp several times, but his increasing attention to his own summer sleep-away camps has prevented him from finding time to attend MVP the past two summers. So I was very excited when he agreed to participate in a Fall Clinic celebrating MVP’s 4000th scholarship award granted since inception. His message often revolves around the uncompromisingly high standards that he sets for his players, his coaches, and even his own sons. Both played D1 basketball. Bobby Hurley Jr. won two national titles at Duke University before a career in the pros.

I’ve had a few opportunities to speak with Mr. Hurley over the years. Despite the tough guy image, the first two things that strike me about Bob Hurley are his love for his family and his devotion to a small and often-times financially struggling high school which doesn’t even have its own gym. It never takes him long to mention his wife Chris, who has been the scorekeeper at every St. Anthony’s home game. And it is no secret that Bob Hurley has been wooed by major institutions with deep pockets and huge arenas, but he feels he can have a more positive influence on kids by staying right where he is. In the documentary “The Street Stops Here,” Hurley says “If I can just get them out of Jersey City, if I can get them into college, their lives will be a lot different.”

The list of of St. Anthony’s players who’ve found success on the college hardwood is very long, and he stays in touch with them long after he’s watched them graduate. The class that won the state title in 2008 (featured in The Street Stops Here) included Rutgers standout Mike Rosario and Kansas point guard Tyshawn Taylor.

MVP Basketball Camp is certainly not focused on producing D1 talent, but MVP is in the business of building character through the game of basketball. In that way, who could be a better guest speaker than Bob Hurley Sr.? Many of MVP’s campers come from tough urban environments. MVP has now given out 4000 camp scholarships since inception to children whose parents can’t afford camp tuition. We invite you to meet Bob Hurley at our October 29 clinic. All proceeds will fund future scholarship awards. You can register on-line at https://mvpbasketballcamp.org/on-line-registration_clinic.html