Now in its fourth year, the East Harlem Pride boys' basketball team has gone above and beyond the expectations of a new sports program, tearing through the Manhattan B league for two straight division titles and an undefeated 2010-2011 regular season before moving up to the more competitive A league for 2011-2012. In their first season in the A-league, the Pride finished third in their division with a 9-7 record and qualified for the playoffs, proving that they can compete with some of Manhattan's best public schools.
Serving the student-athletes of four separate East Harlem high schools - including Park East High School, Central Park East High School, The Heritage School, and The Coalition School for Social Change - the Pride has found success in spite of the many forces that work against it. As an assistant coach of this program for the past two years, I've witnessed firsthand the level of hard work and dedication from this talented group of young men as they aspire to expand their opportunities on and off the court.
One such opportunity that I hope to give our players is the chance to participate in the Greg Koubek Basketball Camp at Brant Lake, NY, an overnight camp run by the former captain of the NCAA Champion Duke Blue Devils. Since many of these students come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and don't qualify for the scholarships afforded by this camp based on their location, it's highly unlikely they will be able to afford the camp entrance fee without some assistance. That's where you come in.
I've set my aim high for this project and am hoping to raise at least $2000 to give these student-athletes an experience that they won't forget. Each donation counts, whether it's $5 or $500. It's simple: the more money we raise, the more student-athletes we'll be able to send.
For the second straight year, I will be running the 15k race at the Boilermaker in Utica, NY on behalf of the Pride and in support of this project. Through your generous support and the continued dedication of our student-athletes, I will run with Pride.