Tag Archives: Daniel O’Connell Park

FDNY defeats NYPD at Queens South Responders Basketball Tournament


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The Fire Department was just too hot to handle in the inaugural Queens South Responders Basketball Tournament at Daniel O’Connell Park on Sunday, August 25.

FDNY from Engine 317 and Ladder 165 defeated the 113th Precinct, 30-15, before crushing the community team 36-18 to win the tournament.

Jamahl Wright of the fire team scored the most points in both games, with 15 in the first and 9 in the second.

The game was organized to bring local first responders and residents together to build trust in the community.

“First responders are our partners of the betterment of our community,” said State Senator Malcolm Smith, who played for the community team, drawing on his experience playing basketball for Christ The King High School. “More important than winning is the camaraderie that comes about.”

Members of the Fire Department wore red, the NYPD wore blue and the community had white T-shirts on. While the game’s main message was about unity, the teams played very competitively.

“We out here to win,” said Shaka Gaines captain of the FDNY team. “You got be able to brag about something. So when we see them we can say ‘remember the game.’”

The first annual event brought tons of basketball fans from the community to watch. Unlike the Jump and Ball Tournament games that have been in the park every weekend during the month, these games were special, because only adults participated. It was also unique, because it brought local responders to the park for fun.

“This whole thing came together two weeks ago, so it’s a win in my eyes,” said Johnny Hines, a Community Affairs officer of the 113th Precinct. Hines came up with the idea of the game a few weeks ago and reached out to community leaders to put it together. “These guys would never be here in this park if this [tournament] wasn’t here.”

 

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Cowboys ride into annual Jump and Ball Tournament


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

LL Cool J’s ninth annual Jump and Ball Tournament in St. Albans had a dark horse.

Cowboy Curly Hall and members of the Federation of Black Cowboys of Howard Beach mosied on to Daniel O’Connell Park on Saturday to meet young buckaroos and buckarettes, while the basketball games raged on.

The tournament, an effort by embattled State Senator Malcolm Smith and the world famous rapper and actor LL Cool J, gave kids a chance to learn about history and lifestyles of cowboys and to interact with horses, among other sports events and educational activities.

“In this century there are not many cowboys around that kids can recognize as being another source of living,” Hall said. “We actually live the cowboy life, we actually perform and try to enjoy what was once a real way of life. But saying all of that I  enjoy entertaining the kids and teaching them a little history.”

The event, which features free basketball tournaments, every Saturday and Sunday until Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, also had free food, giveaways and live music. Children could participate in golf as well or talk with representatives from the Queens Public Library.

“It’s a good thing for the children,” said Andrea Maddison, a Laurelton parent. “ It’s nice for them to get outside. And they don’t need to be inside running up people’s electric bill.”

The event is among more positive news for Smith, who will be facing charges of bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud after investigators alleged that he conspired to rig the mayoral election with Councilmember Dan Halloran and Queens County Republican Party Vice Chair Vincent Tabone.

“I think what’s so important about giving back is we don’t know who the next star is in this entire group,” Smith said. “Anybody here could be the next president, could be the next LL Cool J. What this does is it shows them and gives them an example that even when you make it you can’t forget where you came from.”

 

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State Senator Malcolm Smith, LL Cool J to hold Queens Jump and Ball Tournament


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of State Senator Malcolm Smith

Despite his political troubles embattled State Senator Malcolm Smith will team up with rapper and actor LL Cool J again to present the 9th annual Jump and Ball Tournament.

The event, which features basketball games and double-dutch tournaments, will be free to register and participate in, and will take place at Daniel O’Connell Park in Saint Albans, every Saturday and Sunday starting August 3 to Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There will also be music, free food and a variety of other family fun activities, including golf, chess, tennis and a karate showcase at this year’s event.

“This competition is a wonderful opportunity for the youth in the community to get some fresh air and exercise while they show off their talents,” Smith said. “I am looking forward to a huge turnout. I think this year will be our best Jump and Ball ever.”

“NCIS: Los Angles” star LL Cool J helped found the tournament in 2005 with Smith when he wanted to create a program to give back to the community. The celebrity will make an appearance at the event on one day, but that day has not been decided as yet.

Among the sports activities, children will have chances to learn from the Queens Zoo and watch rope trick performances by Cowboy Curly Hall of the Federation of Black Cowboys of Howard Beach on August 17.

The event is among more positive news for Smith, who will be facing charges of bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud after investigators alleged that he conspired to rig the mayoral election with Councilmember Dan Halloran and Queens County Republican party Vice Chair Vincent Tabone.

 

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