Special Game Between Henry Viscardi Cougars Wheelchair Basketball Team and Elmont Memorial Spartan Boys Varsity Basketball Team!
State Senator Jack Martins and the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Committee announced today that the Saturday, July 16th 3-on-3 Basketball tournament being held at the Dutch Broadway School will feature the New York Knicks Groove Mobile and a special guest appearance from the Knick organization! In addition, Martins and the committee have announced a special basketball game between the Henry Viscardi School Wheelchair Basketball Team and the Nassau County Championship Elmont Boys Varsity Basketball team will be played.The tournament, in its 7th year, is being played at Dutch Broadway School, 1880 Dutch Broadway, Elmont, at the Assemblyman Tom Alfano basketball courts. Tip-off is at 10:30am. The tournament is held in memory of former NYC firefighter and Elmont community activist David Dangerfield who passed away suddenly two years ago.
Senator Martins also announced a special 5-on-5 basketball game between the Henry Viscardi Cougars Wheelchair Basketball team and the Nassau County Champion Elmont Boys Varsity Basketball team. The special game will take place at 11:30am at the tournament. The game, according to Senator Martins, has become the talk of the greater community as the Elmont boys team enthusiastically agreed to play the Viscardi students in wheelchairs themselves. “This game is generating a lot of excitement and energy for the tournament. The Viscardi team is ready and the Elmont Boys will be putting their skills to the test in a way they have never experienced,” said Senator Martins.
The idea for the game came from Martins after he visited the Viscardi School and met some of the players during his tour. “This year, I have gotten to know many of the players of the Elmont Boys Varsity Basketball team and they have become good friends. When I mentioned the game to the Elmont team, they immediately said yes. What makes this game so special is that it is bringing people together for a game in an event that will not only be fun, but will educate everyone. Both teams will be playing in wheelchairs and showing off their skills,” said Martins adding, “this is something you won’t want to miss!”
The Henry Viscardi School is a school of students, parents, teachers, staff, and volunteers dedicated to empowering students with physical disabilities and health impairments to enable them to be active, independent, self sufficient participants in society. The Viscardi basketball team has competed in the Empire State Games for the physically challenged and hosts an annual tournament every December.
Henry Viscardi School Wheelchair Basketball Coach Joe Slaninca said, “ I am very happy to have our kids participate in such a great event. I am looking forward to an exciting, competitive game against the Boys team of Elmont Memorial High School. We are going to give them all we got! This type of wheelchair basketball is not common and we are ready to show the residents of Elmont just how fantastic this game is".
Elmont Memorial High School Boy’s Varsity Basketball player and Tournament Captain Rocky Chambers said, “this is going to be a great game and all the guys from the Elmont Spartans are really excited to play and make new friends with the Viscardi Cougars. We also want to thank the tournament and our friend Jack Martins for setting this game up. This is really incredible for our school and community.”
Dillon Williams, a forward from the Elmont Spartan squad added “I think this game will open up the eyes of many people and will educate all of us. It’s an honor to be on the same court with the Viscardi Cougars and I can’t wait to get in the wheelchair and play in this game!”
The Elmont Spartan team is made up of: Rocky Chambers, Anthony Elechi, Dillon Williams, Kyle Johnson, Tyler DeChalus, Michael Dugue and Reggie Pierre. The Viscardi Cougars are made up of: Mariah Sepulveda, Kevin Gomes, Paul Bottari, Rachel Gross, Matt Zelen, Albert Spencer, Brian Faithfull, Juaquan Jones-Taylor, Chris Ioannou, Chris Alvarez, Chris Scherrer and Dayna Stropkay.
The New York Knicks will also be special guests at the tournament and will be attending with their MSG-New York KNICK Groove Mobile complete with video games and basketball events! “The KNICKS are a great addition to the day and we couldn’t be more proud of their being part of the tournament this year, said Tournament Chairman Scott Cushing. Along with the Knicks, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Elmont Soccer Club, Elmont Fire Department and NYS National Guard will be participating with events and games throughout the day.
County Legislator John Ciotti said, “this is going to be a great day for the greater community and truly shows what our young people are all about. I’m very proud of everyone associated with this tournament and the message they are sending to our community and County.
Councilman Ed Ambrosino said, “The courage and competitive spirit of the Viscardi School team is matched only by the friendship of the Elmont Memorial Spartan Boys team.”
The 3-on-3 tournament will host games for students from the 5th grade through college. In addition to Basketball, there is a soccer clinic and, later in the day, High School and College 7-on-7 football games. Further, there will be special events for those young people who do not want to participate in the games. There will be a climbing wall, video game display boards, special individual games and much more. Food, drinks and giveaways will be provided throughout the day. The event is entirely FREE and there is no charge for any aspect of the tournament.
Other major boosters of the 2011 tournament with Senator Martins are: Senator Dean Skelos, County Legislator John Ciotti, Councilman Ed Ambrosino, South Floral Park Trustee George Ingram, Supervisor Kate Murray, County Executive Ed Mangano, Elmont School District, Elmont Memorial High School, Floral Park Memorial High School, Floral Park Bellerose School District, Franklin Square School District, Sewanhaka High School, Nassau Community College, Councilman Jim Darcy, Legislator Rich Nicolello, Floral Park Trustee Dominic Longobardi, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, Town Clerk Mark Bonilla and Legislator Vin Muscarella.