Productive Discussion: BYSC brings local at-risk youths together with role models from the Westchester Knicks

Posted on

How do you get at-risk youths in crisis to open up and take some hard-won advice? If you’re Backyard Sports Cares, the answer is pizza…and a few local heroes from the Westchester Knicks!

youth shelter of westchester and westchester knicks
Westchester Knicks and residents of the Youth Shelter of Westchester

This past week, Danny Bernstein, executive director, Backyard Sports Cares, decided to add a unique dimension to the recreational programming that the organization provides to the young men temporarily residing at the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, an alternative to incarceration residence for 16-21 year old males, located in Mount Vernon, NY.

Backyard Sports Cares initiated and participated in a conversation with several players from the Westchester Knicks and the residents of the Youth Shelter Program.  Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in White Plains accommodated the group of enthusiastic participants, which was presided by Kiki Campbell, director of community relations for the Westchester Knicks.

“Backyard Sports and the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester have been partners for two years,” said Bernstein. “Our collaboration consists of bringing meaningful recreational programming to a group of very deserving teens and young adults. We wanted to do something impactful for these youths and the conversation with the Knicks was meant to spur a change in perspective. I believe we got everybody thinking.”

The residents heard stories of success and challenges by Knick players, Devon Baulkman, Jordan Henriques-Roberts, and Isaiah Hicks. Equally important, the young men were comfortable and at ease in exchanging their own views and back stories with the players.

“Our recreational program also puts these young men in a mentorship role working with kids in our special needs afterschool program. This experience, in combination with receiving advice and wisdom from positive role models, like the Knicks, comes together to create opportunities for postive redirection and a greater sense of purpose for these young men,” adds Bernstein.

Backyard Sports Features GaGa Event as Part of Special Needs Basketball League

Posted on
Categories Soccer, basketballTags , ,

Backyard Sports Cares Fall Basketball League for athletes with special needs has exceeded expectations this year. In conjunction with our Basketball program, we featured a GaGa special event that got our kids moving and exposed to non-traditional sports. Check out our video to take part in the action and hear from our awesome teen coaches, Audrey … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Features GaGa Event as Part of Special Needs Basketball League”

Backyard Sports Plus Teen Basketball League Gets Going!

Posted on
Categories inclusive sports, special needs sports, basketballTags ,

Thanks to our teen coaches and players for a successful start to the Backyard Sports Plus Teen Basketball League.  Coach Vin Minotti led the group in clinical instruction followed by inclusive competitive basketball games for the squad.  We meet Sunday mornings at 10am at the main gym at Purchase College for all interested teen players and … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Plus Teen Basketball League Gets Going!”

Backyard Sports Cares Annual 3-on-3 Adult Basketball Tournament Raises Over $45K

Posted on
Categories 3 on 3, basketballTags

The results are in! On Saturday, April 16th, the Iona Prep gymnasium set whistles blowing, hundreds of fans cheering and basketball players competing hard in the 4th Annual BYSC 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.  We are truly grateful to everyone involved – from the players and supporters to sponsors and entertainers – who raised the bar of … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares Annual 3-on-3 Adult Basketball Tournament Raises Over $45K”

BYSC PLUS Programs Open with a Slam Dunk!

Posted on
Categories special needs sports, basketballTags ,

October 4th marked the opening day of Backyard Sports Cares award-winning PLUS program for athletes with special needs.  This fall, BYSC is continuing a new program set up for our growing teen population. Integrated teams comprised of nearly 20 teen boys from the Westchester County area and more than 10 volunteer high school peer mentors scrimmaged against each other … Continue reading “BYSC PLUS Programs Open with a Slam Dunk!”

BYSC Kicks Off Teen Sports League for Competitive Special Needs Players

Posted on
Categories inclusive sports, Soccer, football, basketballTags , , ,

Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) has launched a new Sports League for middle school and high school kids with special needs. The unique and appropriately competitive 6-week program will run through mid-June with practices and games taking place at Purchase College. In addition to soccer, the league will resume in the fall with other sports, including … Continue reading “BYSC Kicks Off Teen Sports League for Competitive Special Needs Players”