Borough President Richards takes mental health to the court in Queens basketball game

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards takes a shot before a basketball game. (Lloyd Mitchell)

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards recently brought together a diverse group of basketball enthusiasts to combine their love for the sport with a crucial conversation about mental health awareness.

The event, which took place at St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows on Saturday, Jan. 27, showcased the power of sports as a platform for discussing important issues.

Players at this event included not only Richards but also Assembly Member Ed Braunstein, along with staffers from the Borough President’s Office and representatives of city agencies and members of the NYPD.

Richards, a lifelong basketball enthusiast who has been playing the game since the age of 9, expressed his appreciation for the initiative, stating, “It is great that we are taking time out to highlight mental health while playing the game we all love. I try and take time out of my schedule once a week to practice tell therapy.”

The event drew the support of fellow basketball player Khalil Black, who shared his personal journey with mental health. “It means a lot to me; I’ve been taking care of my mental health for the last five years,” Black said. “It is awesome that my Alma mater, St. Francis Prep, opened their doors for a great cause. You can’t ask for anything better than this to bring elected officials together during Mental Health Awareness Month.”

Players at the event emphasized the significance of raising awareness about mental health in society. One participant stated, “Just to raise awareness on a major issue in our society and to play ball, you can’t beat that.”


Assembly Member Ed Braunstein dribbles up the court. (Lloyd Mitchell)
Assembly Member Ed Braunstein dribbles by a defender. (Lloyd Mitchell)
A player is defended while taking a lay-up during Queens Borough President Donovan Richards basketball game. (Lloyd Mitchell)
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards poses for a photo before a basketball and mental health clinic. (Lloyd Mitchell)