New Rochelle Boys Basketball League Gives Back Through Service

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Seventh- and eighth-graders sort clothes for the clothing drive. Photo Credit: Contributed
Seventh- and eighth-graders stand with the 35 bags of clothes for the clothing drive. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Sean Oliver, director of the Junior Huguenots basketball program, wants his kids to learn about more than sports.

Oliver is one of the founding members of the New Rochelle Basketball Association, which serves as a "feeder" system to New Rochelle High School by coaching two sixth-grade teams, one seventh-grade team and one eighth-grade team.

The teams are made up of 48 boys from city schools.   

This year, Oliver has encouraged the boys to participate in community service through running clothing drives and helping the community.

According to Oliver, the sixth-grade teams helped winterize the organic garden in Lincoln Park.

The seventh- and eighth-grade teams hosted a clothing drive in New Rochelle High School for needy children.

"I had them collect clothes they and their friends outgrew for kids. They brought it all to the high school and took over cafeteria," he said, "They bagged by section, age, size, then brought it up to place in Port Chester. They donated 30-45 industrial bags full of clothes." 

Oliver said one of the best parts of the experience was how much the boys enjoyed doing service.

"That's what caught my eye the most, they enjoyed what they were doing. They were still goofing off and having fun, but they were working," he said, "Nobody had a frown on their face. It was good to see they were enjoying it -- a nice team bonding moment outside of basketball."

He said he hopes the boys are given a new sense of perspective.

"Most of these kids have it pretty good. They need to see other side of the coin. They need to help out and help others," he said, "The kids enjoy helping and I think they did some pretty good stuff here. I wanted our program to be more than just basketball."

Oliver graduated New Rochelle High School and Iona College and lives in New Rochelle. 

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