Here’s to Our Coaches!

It was great meeting and getting to know the coaches at MVP Basketball camp! They have been an essential part of the camp’s success over the years. They foster such a positive and competitive environment at camp. I have only been here for four days and I can already feel the energy and camaraderie between teams.  These coaches love coming back year after year to support this wonderful cause. They even argue with each other over who has been here the longest!

Coach Ben Williams has been working with MVP for nine years. He enjoys working with children each summer and says, “The kids keep me young at heart!” He is not only a proficient basketball player but a football player as well! For all you athletes, whatever your sport is, Coach Williams says, “Continue to work hard and when your opponent is sleeping, you better be out there practicing!!”

Coach Jason Basso has been with MVP for nine years. He coaches all weeks at Bedford and White Plains. He is the commissioner for the B1 division, also known as the “Big East”. For him, as it is for many other coaches, “Basketball all day is awesome!” His advises young athletes to “Come to the court with a positive attitude; work hard, pay attention and have fun!”

Coach Tim Jenkins has been with MVP for twelve years! He is the commissioner for the B3 division, also known as “NBA East”. This year he is also Assistant Camp Director. When he’s not coaching his team, he enjoys catching up with his kids, asking about their progress during the school year.  He says, “MVP is an extended family you don’t see but once a year.” He says, “Don’t settle with one sport; sample different sports until you find two or three that you will always remain with.”

Coach Tyrone Carver has been with MVP for thirteen years! This year he is also Assistant Camp Director. He also enjoys meeting and working with children.  He was first introduced to MVP by John Nemsick, MVP’s camp director, when Nemsick was his coach at Sleepy Hollow High School! He says, “This camp provides kids with an unbelievable experience to meet other children and learn from some of the greatest coaches in the area!”

This environment is very new to me since I do not play basketball, but watching these talented coaches work with their teams is a great experience. This has already been an exciting start to my summer!

Until next time,

Preeth

Lending a helping hand…

MVP Basketball Camp was founded in 1994 by the late Stan Greene. Since then, MVP has assisted over 3900 economically disadvantaged children in attending summer camp! This summer we will be offering our 4,000th scholarship since our inception!

The Community Outreach Program offers a variety of different scholarships. Children can apply for a basic scholarship by sending information regarding the financial status of their family and a letter of recommendation from a teacher, coach or counselor.

MVP has partnered with local efforts to award students with special scholarships. Due to the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy, MVP partnered with the New York City Fire Commissioner and created the MVP Firefighters Fund. This allows children with relatives who were firefighters lost on 9/11 to attend camp on a full scholarship.

Since 2005, the Hoops for Troops Program has also been very successful. Children who have relatives in the military are given the opportunity to attend camp, free of charge. Two years ago, Hoops for Troops partnered with the Wounded War Project to offer assistance to children who have relatives that were wounded during their military service.

The Stan Greene Memorial Scholarships are awarded to four children. The 1st place prize, given to one boy and one girl covers three weeks of camp at no charge. The 2nd place prize, also given to one boy and one girl, covers two weeks of camp at no charge. This award would not be possible without the generous contributions from the friends and family of Stan Greene. In order to apply for this scholarship, students must submit a report card and an essay about either his or her leadership skills or his or her community service efforts. Both subjects were very dear to Mr. Greene.

We are happy to announce that last year, 274 children were able to attend camp on a scholarship! We hope to continue reaching our youth through the love of basketball!

We look forward to another successful year! See you this summer!

Sincerely,

Preeth

Kudos to our Coaches and Guest Speakers

At MVP Basketball Camp we like to say that the heart and soul of the program are the great coaches and guest speakers who come back to us year after year. I’d like to recognize the accomplishments of three of them this past basketball season.

Torey Thomas, former MVP  camper, coach, and guest speaker, was named last week as League MVP of the Tauron Basket Liga, the Polish professional basketball league. In voting by the journalists and TV commentators who follow the league, Torey came in ahead of players like Daniel Ewing, former Duke Blue Devil and a second round NBA draft choice in 2005.  Torey’s team, PGE Turow Zgorzelec, finished the regular season in second place and is competing this week in the playoffs. Torey averaged 13.5 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals during the regular season. Torey is planning to return as a guest speaker this summer at MVP

Former MVP Coach and recent guest speaker Cori Chambers also tasted success this past winter in her position as Director of Women’s Basketball Operations for Marist College. The Lady Red Foxes won 31 games during the season against only 3 losses. One of those losses, a narrow 71 – 66 defeat at the hands of overall two seed Duke in the NCAA Division 1 tournament, ended a  spectacular campaign that featured a conference championship, two regular season wins against Big East teams and a tournament win against Iowa State.  Cori also plans to be a speaker again this summer at MVP.

We can’t take any credit for the success of Bob Hurley, Hall of Fame coach at St. Anthony’s High School in New Jersey, but we can say we have been blessed by his appearance at our camp in past years. Hurley’s team finished the 2010/11 campaign at No. 1 in the national rankings for the fourth time in school history. As always, this year’s team will be sending several players to Division 1 College programs. Hurley’s last consensus No. 1 team in 2007/08 featured D1 players Dominic Cheek (Villanova), Jio Fontan (USC), Mike Rosario (Florida), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), and Travon Woodall (Pittsburgh).

Under the umbrella of MVP’s Youth Development Program, all guest speakers focus on broader skills that are developed at camp, like leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and perseverance, and how those skills relate to success at home, in the classroom, and in future career endeavors.  MVP also spotlights health and wellness issues like nutrition that are so important to the development of today’s youth. As soon as the 2011 guest speaker schedule has been finalized we will post it here. Parents are always welcome to listen in on a presentation at camp.

MVP Campers in the News

It’s always fun for me to see pictures of our campers in the sports pages of our local newspapers. During the past two weeks, as the high school basketball season in New York came to a close, I saw several recognizable faces who led their teams to success at the state level.

Marley Giddens, a participant in Girls Varsity Week at MVP for 3 consecutive years, helped her Irvington High School Varsity team to its second consecutive Class B state title. Marley posted 18 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in a 91 – 52 rout of Aquinas Institute of Rochester. Marley’s Hall of Fame coach Gina Maher became a three-time state champion.

Kudos also go to Peekskill High School on it’s first girls’ state championship. Peekskill defeated Averill Park to win the Class A title by the score of 58-35. Jazmin Garcia was one of three players on the team who attended MVP on scholarship awards in the past. In the final, Jazmin netted 17 points, including 10 in the decisive 2nd quarter. She also had 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists for the game. Former MVP campers Asia Jackson and Troi Nolan also played important roles in the championship season.

On the boy’s side, Kahreign Joseph, a senior at North Rockland high school, emerged as one of the top five big men in the Hudson Valley.  Kahreign was an MVP Basketball Camp participant from 2002 through 2008.  He won MVP of his age group the last year he attended the camp. In 2011 Kahreign earned All Conference and All Section honors and will be playing in this year’s All Star game on April 6th.  He will be taking his talents to SUNY Cortland next fall to play for the Red Dragons.

It was also fun to see the picture of Donnie Simmons on the cover of the The Journal News sports section on national signing day for college football scholarships. Donnie attended MVP as a camper for many years, and then worked at the camp for the past two summers. Although Donnie’s basketball skills are considerable, his stardom at Stepinac High school came on the football field. On February 2 he signed a letter of intent to play defensive end at Syracuse University. “It’s probably one of the greatest days of my life,” Simmons was quoted as saying in the Journal News article. “You can only go through this once and it’s a great opportunity to have this in front of me. It’s too much joy to put it into words.”

MVP Basketball Camp is open to campers of all abilities, and a majority of our campers will never experience athletic success at the Varsity level let alone the collegiate level. That is why MVP stresses the importance of academics during every guest speaker presentation and throughout the five weeks of camp. But MVP does see some special young athletes come through the program, and we believe they learn valuable lessons that prepare them well for the competitive nature of sports. I’m sure there have been other standout athletes from the MVP ranks that I have not mentioned. Please feel free to call or email me with their stories for future articles on the MVP website.