The Walt Whitman and Uniondale high schools are two of the top teams in New York state, and hundreds of local kids flocked to South Huntington over the past few weeks to get a chance to learn from the school's coaches.
Whitman's Tom Fitzpatrick and Uniondale's Tom Diana combines their talents in July to run a basketball camp. Close to 300 basketball lovers, ranging from third to 10th graders, turned out for the camp.
"It's fun and I get to meet a lot of new kids," said Eva Miranda, a young camper, from the Harborfields district. She's been playing basketball for three years now (and is a big fan of the New York Liberty), ever since her cousin turned her onto the game.
Diana said they work on offensive and defensive skill development with the players, and Fitzpatrick added that teaching sportsmanship is just as important. The two coaches also put together a players development guide that gives tips on training, practice and even academic guidelines.
The camp also offered an SAT seminar, teaching student athletes about what the requirements are to be eligible for NCAA Divisions I, II, III.
The community response to the camp, which was hardly advertised, was so impressive, the two coaches said, that they'll almost certainly run another one next summer.
From the Long Islander Newspaper
by Edward Puerta
July 25, 2002