With our co-founders now both head coaches of prestigious schools in their designated Make A Play chapters, we thought it was appropriate to have them go head-to-head in a scrimmage; Fieldston Eagles versus the Albany Falcons.
As we welcomed 2016 just a few days ago, the Ethical Culture Fieldston High Eagles led by Head Coach Rafael Salazar took a road trip upstate for a visit to Head Coach Sean Brown and the Albany High Falcons. While the Eagles got some zzz's on the bus ride and preserved their energy, upon their arrival they were ready to meet and go up against the Falcons on their home court.
Their scrimmage consisted of 4 six-minute quarters, and ended with a final game running for 16 minutes. Both teams played aggressively and showed depth within their bench. Every player had an important role to play, with proof of showmanship and teamwork. The Falcons expressed versatility with their experience of playing under the influence of Coach Sean. While the Eagles were hungry and fresh off of Coach Ralph's plays.
In the end, they broke even taking one game a piece, leaving everyone in speculation. All in all, both teams displayed respect for one another, since majority of the players came from the training and influence of Make A Play's New York City and Albany chapters. Their connection to Make A Play also showed a bond off the court, when all the players got together after the scrimmages and took some time out to chitchat and enjoy company, good eats and delicious cake to celebrate one of the Eagles' birthday, Justyn (Happy Birthday!).
On the Eagles way back home to New York City, driving through the streets of Albany was sort of a historic tour for the students. The experience left an impactful feeling on the team, building their team unit energy. And with this uplifting event, we foresee many more significant road trips to come.
Where do ballers go in NYC to see some of New York's most talented players and athletes? Rucker Park. Not only does the history of the park mean a great deal to the city but to anyone who lives and breathe basketball.
This summer was quite a busy one for our Make A Play team having at least 5 games a week. While we are still in the midst of playoffs in one last tournament, we are already so proud of what we've accomplished by taking the chip at the Each One Teach One Rucker Park Tournament last weekend. Our High School MAP team showed tremendous team work on the court and advanced to the Final Four round. With skillful moves and a few dunks here and there, they came up short to make the chip game, but held their heads high with impressive sportsmanship. Then there was our Middle School MAP team who took on an extremely hot and strenuous season at Rucker, toughing out 100 degree weather each week while playing against some of the best of NYC's youth. Proudly advancing to the championship game, it was neck-a-neck during all 4 quarters, even going into overtime! In the last final minutes, our own Elvys hit some clutch free throws, and then grabbing a tough rebound towards the last 20 seconds and making a quick layup. That put us up by one with only 5 seconds left in OT and winning the prestigious award. Following the game, some of Rucker's legends were honored as we celebrated Holcombe Rucker's 50th Anniversary. We were so privileged to be on the same court as Pee Wee Kirkland and Boston Celtics Champ Emmette Bryant to name a few.
As our players received their trophies with enormous smiles on their faces, Elvys was also named the tournament MVP. We couldn't be more proud of our team.
The most gratifying moment was to see our kids learn about the history of Rucker Park basketball and respecting the game even more. To be able to share this experience with them and maturing throughout the process is a victory in itself.
Thank you Rucker Park for allowing us to be a part of something so elite and special. This will be a moment never to be forgotten and we can't wait for next year.
Writen by MAP students Anthony Prato & Jack McCarthy
Last Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Day, our Make A Play team started off the day going to the Empire State Plaza Convention Center for a day of remembrance for the great Martin Luther King Jr. Following after, we headed over to Hackett Middle School awaiting to help teach kids about Dr. King. When the kids arrived, they were given Make A Play T-Shirts with the hashtag "#DoSomethingGood". Seeing our youth enjoy themselves and learning about Martin Luther King felt inspiring.
Once the activities and basketball ended, all of the children received special goodie bags that contained KIND bars, Nth Degree beverages and treats, while the parents and guests enjoyed sparkling ONLI Beverages. The children also received raffle tickets for a chance to win fresh New Era hats, leather belts from the giving folks of Mission Belts , and fun DIY Dino Kits from Makers Kit. Everyone seemed to have an amazing time and loved all the treats and prizes the sponsors provided.
Martin Luther King changed the world with his hard work and sacrifice to make this world better. We believe everyone should try to emulate his message; his message of nonviolence can be applied much more than just the civil rights movement. The event was just one example of Dr. King's legacy left here for us to continue and move forward.
A huge thanks to all our sponsors for allowing this important day to happen and for helping us share and spread this special movement. #DoSomethingGood
Sponsors: GameGear, Roar Beverages, Hackett Middle School, KIND Snacks, Nth Degree, ONLI Beverages, The Mission Belt, Makers Kit, New Era, 4th Family, Strive Thru Sports and Capital District Area Labor Federation.
Nothing's better than to stay indoors during a snowstorm, drink hot chocolate, and catch some NBA TV action at home on your couch, right? Well to be honest, nothing really beats that! But the athlete in us just can't stay still and be a couch potato, impatiently waiting for that 80 degree weather to arrive.
Although the Make A Play Skill Builder Clinics are just a few months away (shameless drop intended), the MAP crew must stay active till then! Here’s how our MAP staff and team stay upbeat and fit during this ice cold season. Always stay ready and in shape for some NYC basketball!
Director/Coach Sean - With a new addition to the MAP family, my 11 week daughter, it can be difficult to find time to stay fit. Whether it is first thing in the morning, right after a diaper change, or after work. My routine is straightforward and simple:
2 Glasses of water with lemon
10 min jump rope
50 push ups
10 crab diggers
….and shower! Stay fit get your mind and body right!
PR Director Lorie - Since its hard to dribble and run on snow-topped outdoor courts when it’s 0 degrees out, I try to stay active in the likes of my apartment. Throwing down my yoga mat and doing some stretching moves to get my muscles and heart rate going. I also use a basketball to assist with arm exercises. And even taking a quick 20-30 min drill of Insanity gives me a kick of cardio!
Jahdiel - Staying active is what it’s all about! Walking, running, and just having fun. I like to run at least 5 laps around the basketball court, which increases my stamina, and I also enjoy doing squats to strengthen my legs, and push ups to increase my upper body strength. It’s a necessity to stay in shape to be successful in any sport!
Sam - Basically, I eat a lot of yogurt. And I stay active by doing 50 push-ups at night and 50 in the morning if I have time. I also do 50 sit-ups before bedtime. And when I am at the gym, you’ll find me doing dribbling drills, speed drills, and shooting around.
Jeurys - I do push-ups after every activity at home; before and after I shower, and when get up first thing in the morning. To stay fit during the winter, I exercise at home with my parents and I also go to the gym and run in the treadmill. I don't really have a diet but I drink lots of water at school and home.
What drives you? Who is your inspiration?
The world has been saddened by the recent news on sports media icon Stuart Scott's passing. He's made such an impact in the sports world and for all of us here at Make A Play.
"He's been a part of my life since I was in high school back in the 90's. He taught me me to LOVE the sport. I used to pretend I could commentate just like him! Booya! I will surely miss Stuart Scott", says our PR Director Lorie. Even our own students have been affected - MAP guard Jahdiel stated, "he inspired me in many ways; the way he gave feedback to many NBA players to improve their own game. I took that to consideration and started to fall in love with the game".
Everyone is inspired by someone or something. Whether it be your parents, mentor, coach, or favorite NBA player. We all want to learn from the best and keep the knowledge within us, using it to build our skill and mindset. What makes us better is our drive, our passion, our love for the sport, and our INSPIRATION.
The love for basketball can come from anything and everywhere. Cherish each moment with it. And enjoy this clip of Stuart Scott, the man with confident sports swag and humor which we will forever miss... Rest in love.
Who is GameGear?
Have you noticed Make A Play’s newest b-ball threads on the court, or the staff looking unified in detailed MAP hoodies? Give thanks to the crew at Game Gear for creating these custom looks the Make A Play team has been showing off, and has more than enough reason to.
Game Gear specializes in customization of premium sports uniforms. From basketball to soccer, wrestling to track and field, they just about do it all. The Make A Play custom uniforms are made of soft jersey material with custom sublimation on the back of the jersey. With small detailing of polka dots and stripes, Game Gear uses Make A Play’s original colors of red, royal blue, white, with hints of grey. It’s lightweight texture and breathable material will keep the MAP team feeling afloat on the court while looking handsome and fresh.
Your team can get a special customized look too, and the folks at Game Gear will offer a 20% discount with our referral. And in no time, you will have your specially made sports gear ready for game time, thanks to Game Gear.
Be sure to follow and like them on Facebook and you may be entered to win a custom Make A Play hoodie!
MAKE A PLAY VS FELIPE LOPEZ FOUNDATION AT TERMINAL 23
November 14, 2014 - New York City, NY
NBA season is back...but the real buzz is centered around the biannual scrimmage event between Make A Play and the Felipe Lopez Foundation coming up this Saturday, November 15th. This time around, the match will be held at Terminal 23, Carmelo Anthony's exclusive gym, located in the heart of NYC.
With the competitiveness and passion both organizations bring to the table, this is sure to be an exciting game, packed with young athletes ready to take on Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) competition.
The players will consist of New York's finest ball handlers and defensive stoppers from the ages of 14 to 16 years old. Coached by each organization's leaders, the combination of professional basketball and the rawness of NYC street hoops will make for one unforgettable scrimmage on the court.
This will inescapably grab the attention of basketball fanatics from all over the city as they get to witness the true, authentic talent of New York City's youth.
A huge thank you to Terminal 23 for hosting this event, and supporting sponsors Teamsnap, GameGear, ROAR, Cheribundi, and Beanfields. And last but certainly not least, thank you to the Felipe Lopez Foundation for allowing this all to happen, and for the love of the game.
August 28, 2014 - New York City, NY
After a summer full of streetball tournaments, sweat and tears, Make A Play rose to the top. MAP has won a total of 5 chips this summer between the NYC and Albany teams, and still counting.
This past weekend, the young MAP NYC trotters (12u) took the trophy at the Positive Influence Tournament held at the Samuel Bennerson Playground, and then won the title chip last night at the Inwood Park Tournament (14u), a popular court where all the uptown kids play one-on-one with their b-ball buddies day and night.
Our Albany team (16u) was also a huge success taking home 3 chips, coming from one of New York's well-established sports venues, House of Sports.
Still a few challenges ahead of them as they await their final games with the Riverside Classic Games to finish off in September. All in all, it has been a hell-of-a-ride of screens, three-twos, two-threes, and defensive stops, all worth it proving MAP is the team to beat!
And as the summer comes to a close, Make A Play wishes for continued success and progression as they continue to take over the the streets with their basketball skills.
Thanks to MAP's supporters and sponsors: Team Snap, Allstate, Janine Just, Inc., SLAM, and KIND Healthy Snacks. Stay tuned for basketball's future to come.
Summer Scrimmage Event - June 14, 2014 - Uptown, New York City, NY
Nothing explains street ball better than New York City basketball. Make A Play was fortunate to host a Summer Scrimmage Event on June 14, 2014 with the Felipe Lopez Foundation, and support from our sponsors such as Team Snap.
Our event started in the peak of the morning at the Amistad Dual Language School up in the bustling streets of Washington Heights. As kids trickled in and were greeted with hearty KIND Healthy Grain Bars, the excitement of competitive ball was in the air. MAP Coaches Rafael and Estephan prepped their 12 & under kids to expect quite a challenge versus the well-developed team of former NBA player Felipe Lopez.
As Coach Felipe and his army of trotters entered the gym, an instant respect for each other's foundation was already developing for one another. That alone showed growth, maturity, and pure love for the game. Hand shakes, head nods, or even passing a bottle of HINT water to their opposing team was actually happening, to the staff's amazement.
The referees, dressed in Team Snap gear, called the 12 & under teams to action and it was game time! MAP kept it close in the first, but due to lack of size, the FE boys saw their advantage and took control of the circumstance. MAP didn't slow down or give up. Instead they showed tremendous effort in the 4th quarter to catch up and lessen FE's lead. All in all, it was a great scrimmage for our 12 & under boys, whom showed dedication and perseverance.
It was then time for our 14 & under teams to show strength, durability and experience with Make A Play’s towering kids. All four quarters had us on the edge of our seats, as it remained close throughout, and never spread more than double digits. At the half, Coach Felipe Lopez was telling his kids to push their defense and box out their defender. While Coach Rande and Coach Rafael couldn’t express enough the valued aspect to “pass & cut” repeatedly. At the final 2 minute mark, it came down to the MAP team making free throws, but falling short just 3 points, to give the FE team the W.
The Scrimmage event was a complete success, and seeing the competitive drive in all the kids is what made it so successful. The sportsmanship, teamwork, and passion for the game is what keeps Make A Play and the Felipe Lopez Foundation striving to do our best for our community. Our youth is what makes the difference, for the better. Can't wait to do this again next year!
Without the support of our friends and sponsors, all of this would not be possible! Team Snap has been such a compliment for Make A Play, and will be of tremendous help setting up our summer tournament teams via the Team Snap application. And amazing brands like KIND, Dippin’ Chips, HINT Water, Earth Balance, GoGo Squeeze, & Fresh Direct for providing their delicious, nourishing and quenching treats. And last but not least, unique swag from Nooka Watches, and cool Polar Water Bottles for all the trotters.
Be sure to check out more photos of the epic event here.
Make A Play Staff