[BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - FEBRUARY 21, 2022]
The New York Knicks organization hosted the Jr. Knicks Youth Basketball Clinic for our youngest basketball stars at the Berkeley Heights YMCA's brand-new gymnasium this past weekend. Participants shared their hoop dreams and gained opportunities to run, dribble and shoot with some of the Jr. Knicks' best including Head Coach William "Bill" Singleton, assistant coaches Christopher Burke, Thabiti Boone, Nygel Roach and New York Knicks Alumni Charles Smith. Summit Area YMCA's very own youth basketball coach, Brianna Thornton, also assisted with coaching the Jr. Knicks Youth Basketball Clinic.
Participants ages 3-7 were schooled on the fundamentals of basketball, running and transitioning drills, jumping and pivoting, ball handling while moving, shooting, while of course being instructed to have fun and let loose on the court for the love of the game! Participants consisted of players from the Summit Area YMCA's youth basketball program including our year-round clinics and Youth Basketball League.
The Knicks organization is committed to building programs of excellence that give back to the community, enhance the game of basketball and promote a positive and healthy youth basketball experience for young players through their Knicks in the Community outreach programs where Knicks players, coaches, alumni, dancers and staff actively play a role in giving back to the community. Thabiti Boone, part of New York Knicks Community Relations & Outreach Programs is a Division I college basketball Hall of Famer, author, leader, minister, humanitarian and also awarded as a Champion of Change by former President Obama for his commitment to the Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. When speaking to the Y, Thabiti shared how "it's just been a joy to still make an impact through basketball in communities throughout the tri-state area, especially the YMCA".
Earlier this year, the Summit YMCA's 14U Travel Basketball Team got a taste of the big leagues when they were invited to attend the New York Knicks game against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden in January. Players and their families were invited to sit courtside during the pregame shoot around and learn how the pros warm up before receiving their own jerseys and taking the court themselves. The goal of Knicks Youth Basketball programming is to grow and develop basketball participation & fundamentals, physical fitness, promote healthy lifestyles & well being for children in the tri-state area. As a Jr. Knicks affiliate, the Summit Area YMCA will continue its partnership with the Knicks in hosting future basketball training clinics and programs to help further the Y's mission of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
The Summit Area YMCA has basketball programs for all ages and levels - all year round. We teach the basic skills and rules of the sport, while also focusing on the important values of sportsmanship, teamwork and more. Join a clinic and improve your skills, join a league to compete and unleash the basketball star inside you or shoot some hoops and enjoy a friendly game with others during open gym!
Youth & Sports Director
SUMMIT AREA YMCA
In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values, and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring and respect — are integral to everyday operations.
Each year, as one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.