December 21, 2007
NBA Superstar Visits Westchester Campus
John Starks instructs
youngsters on how to throw
the perfect shot.
n December 14th, former NY Knicks star John Starks visited JCCA’s Westchester campus to give two basketball clinics to some of his most ardent fans—the girls and boys of
John Starks and UBS CEO
Robert Wolf inspire Edenwald
residents before the basketball
The Cottage Schools at Pleasantville and Edenwald. The youth were not only captivated by shooting hoops with a basketball legend, but also listened raptly to Starks' inspiring personal history at a question-and-answer period following the clinics. The visit was arranged with the help of Robert Wolf, CEO UBS Americas and President UBS Investment Bank. UBS had previously funded the donation of duffels to all the residents on JCCA’s Westchester campus.
Girls from Edenwald
Center take a break with
Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and contending with difficulties much like those of our youngsters, Starks spoke of how playing basketball with his brother helped him decide to turn his life around and make something of himself. His story of developing a work ethic, even when that meant bagging groceries, and the importance of getting an education was truly inspiring and made a terrific impression on the campus youth.
In addition to the clinics, Starks stayed on to be interviewed by PCS resident Tamika Price for Pleasantville Community TV (PCTV). Here are some excerpts:
TP: I understand you had a difficult childhood. Can you talk about that and how it changed you?
The youth from Pleasantville Cottage
School pose with NBA superstar
JS: I was raised by my beautiful mother and grandmother and they did the best they could for me, but I got in a lot of trouble. Fortunately, my focus on basketball helped keep me out of really serious trouble. What I went through helped shape my life. You have to draw on your experience and learn from it and I made a conscious effort to change that part of my life.
TP: I think your brother played a big role in your life. What was that relationship like?
PCS resident Tamika P. conducts an
interview with Mr. Starks for PCTV.
He drove me and pushed me towards basketball. He just pushed that competitive button in me. We were really close. He’s the one person I know I can trust and I tried to be like him. I thought that if I could beat him, I could beat anybody.
TP: You’ve had such a successful career. What made you want to give back to the children?
JS: It's my background and knowing that other kids are going through the same things I did. I’m blessed and fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help kids in the same situation. I want to give them hope so they can go out and achieve what they want to. I formed my foundation to give good students and good kids education scholarships. I want them to get inspired by school and help them jump start their lives.
The interview will begin airing on Friday, December 20 on PCTV and run through Friday, January 4, 2008. It will air four times a day: at 6 am, 12 pm, 6 pm and 12 am.
Click here to see the interview.
Many thanks to John Starks and Robert Wolf for their extraordinary generosity.
Join us for our third annual A Tree Grows in Pleasantville fundraiser on Saturday, January 12, 2008. Click here for more info.
The Board of Trustees and staff of JCCA wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year.