It was 8:30am when the first basketball bounced at the courts of Dutch Broadway school this past Friday. The occasion was the 3-on-3 contest which actually had a start time of 10:30am. But that didn’t stop the over 20 young people woke early, rode their bikes and were getting psyched for the 2nd annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament contest sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Alfano.
By 9:15am, over 500 young people were on the courts and lining up to check-in at tables staffed by volunteers, And, at 10:15am close to 1,000 people were streaming into Dutch. Cars were parked up and down streets. From Western Beef Supermarket to Silver Street and everywhere in between. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Mystique Rivera adding, “this is fantastic.”
The program began with Dutch Broadway Principal Walter Aksionoff welcoming the community to Dutch Broadway School for the program. County Legislator John Ciotti led the Pledge of Allegiance. Supt. Al Harper wished everyone luck and congratulated all the teams. State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Phelan officially started the first set of games.
Assemblyman Tom Alfano, who founded the tournament, thanked all the community partners for their help and support. “This is one of the most exciting events that we have in our area and I believe it’s probably the biggest every held here in Elmont. Thank you all. Most of all have fun and enjoy the Summer!”
County Legislator John Ciotti said, “This is a big day for our community and I want to thank Tom Alfano for making this event happen for all of you.” Councilman Ed Ambrosino said, “what a day. This is a great way to celebrate Summer and all our young people!” Dr. Lynn Pombonyo said, “what a great turnout and what a way to honor our kids!”
Former New York Jets Star Marty Lyons started the program by thanking all the young people for coming out to participate. “When Tom called and asked me to drop he said he’d have a few friends. I think he has a couple thousand friends here today.”
Competitors streamed onto the courts from schools in Elmont, Franklin Square, Floral Park, South Floral Park, North Valley Stream, Garden City South, Floral Park Centre, Hempstead, Bellerose Terrace, West Hempstead, Bellerose Village, Stewart Manor, New Hyde Park and Valley Stream.
Around the courts were events that young people could participate in. The US Army had a Basketball machine, XBox 360 with Halo and assorted games. The US Marines had a pull up challenge and physical fitness tests. Powerade dispensed drinks to young people all day. The NY Islanders had an inflatable obstacle course and several hockey games for young people to play. The NY Knicks had their groove truck which hosted several competitions for everyone. The Elmont Fire Department “Smoke House” on fire education and prevention was a hit as well. The New York State Police brought their Trooper car simulator to show what happens when you don’t wear a seatbelt or drive under the influence of alcohol.
The lunch, sponsored by Assemblyman Alfano, dispensed over 1,800 slices of pizza, 400 hamburgers, 400 cheeseburgers, KFC grilled chicken, bananas, chips and fruit snacks. Over 5,300 bottles of water, fruit juice and vitamin water were given out throughout the day. “I can’t thank Lia’s Pizza, McDonalds, KFC, Long Island Banana, Franklin Square Pharmacy, Pepsi and Wal-Mart enough for their support of the children of our community. They did a great job. Deserts were compliments of Legislator John Ciotti who hosted an ice cream social hour where over 1,100 ice cream bars were dispensed to young people in an hour and a half!
Young people jammed the courts to shoot hoops in an effort to take home medallions in the Alfano tournament. “When I stepped foot on the courts I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Assemblyman Alfano adding, “the place was packed and our basketball stars were ready to play.” The tourney was created by Alfano to celebrate the newly resurfaced basketball courts at the school which now have 3 full courts and 4 half courts. The project came courtesy of a $40,000 grant Alfano was able to channel to the entire community.
“This tournament was developed for our young people in as a positive outlet. The games are competitive and the sportsmanship on display was truly outstanding,” said Assemblyman Alfano adding, “this is a great day for all our young people. Go out there, play hard and have a good time.” Supt. Al Harper was very proud of the turnout noting, “have fun because this is for you.” Principal Walter Aksionoff added, “this is a celebration and a day to show off your skills.”
Teams competed in 10 minute contests and advanced in the NCAA style grid tournament. Tama Johnson served as the official Tournament Score and Grid Keeper. Head referee Walter Aksionoff, Maxx Rivera, Fabrice Georges, Marvin Lee and John Dieudonne coordinated the over 15 referees stationed at all 9 half court contests. The referee teams were: Maxx Rivera, Mystique Rivera, Fabrice Georges, Franklin Thomas, Billy and Brandon Butler, John Dieudonne, Toni Ann Lawrence, Ajani Jones, Tolulope Jegede, Marvin Lee, Britt Jones, Andrew McCarthy, Ian Feurtado and Darian Bryan. Checking in the teams were Sandra Smith, Judy Van Haaren, Eleanor Ringold, Francina Roman, Carmen Villanueva, Barbara Reynolds, Tania Lawes, Amen Enoma, Funola Otukoya, Michael Heusner, Julian Maultsby, Mary Jane Havrylkoff, Tama Johnson, Veronica Ebhuoma, Gabrielle Sylvain and Willy Williams.
“The games were very exciting and had everybody pumped up,” said Assemblyman Alfano. Parents were cheering on the sidelines and onlookers filled in the grass area outside the courts to watch the games. DJ Rodney Lawrence aka “Gully Stream Entertainment” played music during the contests.
Also making a special appearance was UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida who signed autographs and talked to young people throughout the day about staying in school and striving for their dreams. “This is a great event. I can’t believe all the people and everyone is having a blast,” Almeida said.
One of the most exciting events was the Slam Dunk hoop. Nassau Community College is partnership with Assemblyman Alfano sponsored the hoop where young people took turns driving to the hoop and slam dunking the ball. Top finisher was Elmont Varsity basketball player Dominique Williams who walked away with an autographed basketball from NY Knick Nate Robinson. “Everyone was a winner on Friday,” said Assemblyman Alfano adding, “this was a great way to kick off the Summer!”
Some of the teams competing in the tournament were: USMC, Monstas,, The Big 3, Blue Angels, Shake It, Cobras, Elmont Dragons, Haitian Sensations, Alden Power, Extreme, Kings of the Court, Mad Legit Ballers, the Smites, Thunderbirds, Valley Stream Elite, The Iqbombs, The Underachievers, Dutch Ballaz, Gotham Slammers, Willow’s Finest, Elmont Dragons, Three Hoopsters, We Got It, 3 Disciples, Carey, Seahawks, SharpShooters, Spartans, Dutch Dragons, Titans, 3 Pointers, CJR, LCST, Lost Boys, Blaze, The Takedowns, Kings, Spirit, ProStaff, Mossad, Dynamite, Team Born Ready, Aces, Hot Shots, Covert Elite, Heat, Show Stoppers, NBA Ballers, Elmont Torpedos, Floral Park’s Finest, Ballers 2, Power Pros, Terrifying Tigers, The Bakerz, Royal Family, Team Automatic, The Knights, Team Dub, Shooting Starz, Franchise, Team Liftoff, Cap Swiss, Parkhurst Ballerz, Wake Up Call, Lightskin Ballerz, The Hammer, Cereal and Nuts, Ballaholics, Jamaican Jammers, Wackstars, Buckets, Rockets, Elmont JH Ballerz, Polk Street Elite, Team GWM, Shadyville Ballers, NY Elite, Team Birdman, BBA, Team Nike, Air Jordanz, Italy’s Elite, You Can’t Have It, Empire, Jedi Knights, The Dukesters, Backyard Ballerz Association, The Gaels, Team Buckets 2, Team Lift, Lady Empire, Take Over, Three Villages 1 Team, God Given Talent, Stay Tru, The Romans, IRA, Team 3, MDP, Elmont Justice League, DB Girls, The League, Thunder I, Lightning Bolts, Triple M’s, The Allygators, Blue Blizzards, Beastly Blockerz, Triple Threat, Young Bosses, Lightning, Puerto Rican Ballaz, The Athletics, Crossovers, Court Crushers, Garden City South Blues Clues, Nameless, Dream Team, Boom Boom Pow, Fighting Irish, Heat Wave, Team Jordan, The Godfathers, New York All Stars, Ball Busters, Blue Storm, The Dinomitos, Floral Park Inferno, Big 4, The Pros, Cavaliers, Big Ballaz, Net Blazers, The Trailblazers, The Thunder, Celtics, The Bee Ballers, The Carlson Slam, Bulls, John Street Warriors, The Illionators, Colt Champions, The Fireballs, The Wild Ones, Swishes, Team Jess, Blue Devils, Floral Park Knights, Elmont Ryders, The Sith, Rockets, Splashboys, The All-Stars, Marvel, Young Ballerz, Lady All-Stars, Court Killerz, Element 26, Lil Demonz, Fallen Angels, Memphis, The Ellite, Dunkin Monkeys, Disqualified, Hot Shots, The Dream Team, Blazers3, Diamond Set Crew, The Pro’s, White Lightning, Shadow Knights, AKS Oq, Hustlers, The 3 Stooges, Coca-Cola, Jamaican Jammerz, The Square, West Hempstead Ramz and many more!