Knicks’ basketball clinic a ‘Slam Dunk’ at Cross Island YMCA

Photo courtesy of the YMCA of Greater New York

The New York Knicks and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development partnered to hold four basketball clinics across New York City Saturday, Apr. 6, including one at the Cross Island YMCA, located at 238-10 Hillside Ave. in Bellerose.

Photo courtesy of the YMCA of Greater New York

This marks the third year that the Knicks, DYCD and YMCA of Greater New York have partnered for these free clinics, centered around Saturday Night Lights, a youth development and violence prevention program providing free sports and fitness activity for over 1,100 youths across the 17 YMCA locations in New York City.

Knicks legend John Starks was on hand for the clinic at the Cross Island YMCA. Starks joined the coaches to help the 70 participating teens in ball handling, passing, defending, footwork and shooting drills at a series of rotating stations.

Starks also offered the youth general advice and motivation. He spent over 25 minutes discussing his basketball career and professional journey and answering dozens of questions from the kids.

Knicks legend John Starks addresses the kids participating in the basketball clinic at the Cross Island YMCA. Photo courtesy of the YMCA of Greater New York

“It is imperative that the children in our local communities have safe locations to play, as well as great programming so they can fully enjoy the sport and learn valuable skills,” Starks said. “The Saturday Night Lights clinics are a great way to accomplish this.”

The Cross Island YMCA’s Afterschool program is also scheduled to hold a basketball clinic with the Jr. Knicks on Tuesday, May 14 at P.S. 134, located at 203-02 109th Ave. in St. Albans. This upcoming clinic is expected to run from 3-5 p.m.

“The YMCA of Greater New York is proud to partner with the Knicks and the City to provide high-quality programming that keeps our teens happy, healthy, and safe,” YMCA of Greater New York President and CEO Sharon Greenberger said. “Programs like Saturday Night Lights and our extensive offerings in career development for teens provide invaluable opportunities for personal growth that make an enormous impact in the lives of teens. The YMCA thanks the Knicks for their continued partnership and the skills they are helping Y teens to develop, both on and off the court.”