Tag Archives: John Starks

John Starks and St. John’s Dribbles for a Cure


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

In front of nearly 400 students, children and family members, St. John’s men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin stood in his trademark black pants and white sneakers. His focus wasn’t basketball, the upcoming season or the string of new Dribbles recruits he has ushered in.

Instead, Lavin reminded the crowd that cancer, in one way or another, affects everyone sooner or later.

“Cancer will touch everyone at some point in your lifetime,” he said. “Whether it’s you personally going through that battle, just the probabilities, the law of averages, a sibling, a mother or father, a grandfather, someone in the neighborhood, someone that is a good friend. It’s going to touch all of us at some point.”

Lavin, who last year underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer, was one of several St. John’s sports officials who took part in the school’s second “Dribble for the Cure,” held on Saturday, September 22 to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Among those who came out to support the cause were former longtime coaches Lou Carnesecca and Jack Kaiser, women’s basketball coach Joe Tartamella and New York Knicks alum John Starks.

At press time, the event raised around $25,000 for research, according to the school.

Taking a break from training for their upcoming seasons, players on the men’s and women’s basketball teams took part in the dribble, which circled around the school’s campus before reconvening at their home court in Carnesecca Arena.

One of those players, guard Phil Greene, said taking the time out to participate in an event like this really benefited the kids who were battling cancer.

“Giving back to the kids, you give them something to look forward to,” he said. “Giving the time out of our day, it’s nothing because they’re going through a lot of turmoil right now. It just makes you feel good, because they look up to us and we just give them something just to look forward to.”

Starks, who has lost several relatives to cancer, said he lost his grandmother, mother and sister to breast cancer and could empathize what it was like to battle the disease.

“I understand what the families go through, and it’s great to see we’re all here and understanding that this fight is never, never, never ending,” he said.

Lavin, who before the event confirmed to reporters that he is now cancer free, told the participants that their attendance was inspiring and should drive others to support the fight against cancer.

“Clearly, this is an example of the human spirit, and that’s what this is really a celebration of,” he said. “Those that support loved ones that are struggling with the dreaded disease are showing compassion, and compassion is part of the human spirit. Your time is well spent today and I want you to pat yourself on the back for showing up, showing a great example for others to follow and creating great synergy.”

Junior Knicks League crowns champion


| brennison@queenscourier.com

JuniorKnicksGroupShotw

The Junior Knicks League, joined by a New York basketball legend, recently held its championship game at August Martin High School.

Former Knicks star John Starks came out to watch teams from Jamaica and South Ozone Park battle it out for the championship on Friday, March 30.

The Junior Knicks teams from P.S. 40 in Jamaica and M.S. 226 in South Ozone Park took to the hardwood, with P.S. 40 taking home the title.

All the participating schools — P.S.48, P.S.55, P.S. 62, P.S.155, P.S 160 and P.S.223 — attended the league’s championship game.

“I am proud to have funded the Junior Knicks program. This program introduced young men and women to the sport of basketball, promoted mentorship, team building, healthy habits, sportsmanship and parental involvement,” said Councilmember Ruben Wills. “It is important to look for every measure to expand the educational support communities beyond the walls of the school.”

Train Like a Knick: New contest supports city hoop dreams


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Michael Pantelidis

With “Lin-sanity” in full swing and Carmelo Anthony returning to the lineup, it seems like everybody wants to play on the New York Knickerbockers these days.

Now city kids will have that chance as the Big Apple’s hoops squad is teaming up with the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in announcing the launch of the first ever, “Train Like a Knick!” fan contest.

Supporting the importance of overall fitness and wellness, fans are invited to submit entertaining and healthy exercise videos showing how they train like their favorite Knicks players. The contest winners will receive a Knicks training experience at MSG Training Center, including personalized basketball drills and workouts with Knicks alumni and team’s training and rehabilitation staff.

“The exercise session designed by HSS reminded me that physical training sometimes goes beyond the basketball court,” said John Starks, who played for the Knicks from 1990 to 1998 and is currently an alumni relations and fan development advisor for the team. “My hope is that all recreational players understand the importance of exercise when playing basketball and will continue to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Basketball fans 16 years of age and older are invited to submit a short video of 60 seconds or less showcasing how they “Train Like a Knick.” All content will be evaluated on originality, creativity and association with health and wellness. This may include specific basketball drills on rebounding and defense, stretching exercises or even making healthy food choices. Submissions will be accepted via HSS’s Facebook page until March 15, 2012.

Five finalists will be selected, and then fans across the country will have the opportunity to vote for their three favorites. In addition, each winner can invite up to four friends to “Train Like a Knick” too. One grand prize winner will also receive a VIP Knicks package.

“On behalf of HSS, we are proud to support the New York Knicks and are excited to bring this program and health and wellness messages to the fans,” said Lou Shapiro, president and CEO of HSS. “Together we strive to help both the professional athlete and the ‘weekend warrior’ keep moving and stay injury-free.”

To enter the “Train Like a Knick!” contest, fans must first “Like” Hospital for Special Surgery on Facebook. The “Train Like a Knick” contest is open to legal U.S. residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, at least 16 years old at the time of entry, who reside within a 75-mile radius of Madison Square Garden.