12/15/14 8:00am
12/15/2014 8:00 AM
(Credit: Bill Landon)

Neverson Funn goes up for a shot in Saturday’s alumni basketball game in Riverhead. (Credit: Bill Landon)

It had been 11 years since the last time Chris Harris stepped onto the court at Riverhead High School. A lot has changed since then. But the competitive juices remain.

“Coach got some of us old guys out here,” said Harris, a 2002 Riverhead graduate.  (more…)

09/17/14 5:00am
09/17/2014 5:00 AM
The Harlem Wizards pose with Riverhead faculty members at last year's game. (Credit: Riverhead School District)

The Harlem Wizards pose with Riverhead faculty members at last year’s game. (Credit: Riverhead School District)

The Harlem Wizards basketball team will return to Riverhead High School Nov. 19 and the Riverhead Central Faculty Association is currently seeking sponsorships for the event that attracted more than 1,000 people last year.  (more…)

07/01/14 5:00pm
07/01/2014 5:00 PM
NBA guard Nate Robinson poses for a picture during Tuesday's camp at McGann-Mercy High School. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

NBA guard Nate Robinson poses for a picture during Tuesday’s camp at McGann-Mercy High School. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Among the jerseys on display Tuesday at McGann-Mercy High School were the mainstays of the NBA: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony. Some of the kids went old-school, wearing the likes of John Stockton’s Utah Jazz jersey and Glen Rice’s Charlotte Hornets jersey.

One boy wore the jersey representing the man of the hour: Nate Robinson.  (more…)

08/11/13 8:00am
08/11/2013 8:00 AM

ROBERT O”ROURK PHOTO | The Stop the Violence Basketball Tournament at the Horton Avenue court featured some intense competition Saturday.

There’s a unique bond formed between players on a basketball court. During a game — even in the heat of competition — players can develop a respect for one another.

It’s that thinking that led Riverhead residents Dwayne Eleazer and Larry Williams to create the Stop the Violence Basketball Tournament. Now in its seventh year, the tournament has blossomed into an annual showcase of outstanding basketball — all in the hopes of bringing the community together and curtailing future violence.

“You can come on a basketball court and play without any violence, you might see that person in the street,” Mr. Eleazer said in between games Saturday on the first day of the tournament. “I played ball with him, we can talk this out.”

The latest tournament at the Riverhead Town basketball court on Horton Avenue hit even closer to home this year. Just over six months ago, Riverhead resident Demitri Hampton was killed in a still unsolved shooting.

Mr. Hampton’s mother, Juanita Trent, ran a raffle during the tournament to raise money for the scholarship formed in her son’s honor. By midday Saturday, she already had more than $400 and was hoping to reach $1,000 by the tournament’s conclusion Sunday.

Ms. Trent said her son Jamal Davis has played in the tournament several times and did so again this year.

Players wore T-shirts with names on the back of people hurt by street violence.

The event has grown to where teams from all across the region come to compete for the nearly $2,000 prize. Teams from New York City and New Jersey participated this year.

Clarence Alonzo, a 2004 Longwood graduate, said his team was prepared to defend its title from a year ago.

“We probably have two good teams that can give us a run for our money,” Mr. Alonzo said. “Everybody else has to buckle their seatbelt up and take this ride with us.”

The biggest competition was likely a team led by 6-foot-6 J.J. Moore, a former Brentwood player who played at the University of Pittsburgh. He’s currently going into his senior year at Rutgers after transferring.

In the past, NBA player A.J. Price has even shown up to play. Organizers weren’t sure whether Mr. Price would make an appearance this year.

“He plays on one of the better teams,” said referee Cliff Rowland of Center Moriches. “He’s like one of the ringers. In the championship game, A.J. shows up.”

Mr. Williams said the event is also an opportunity to bring together the community and police officers.

“If the guy’s know the officer, and the officer’s know them, if there’s a problem you’re more apt to talk to each other,” he said.

As many as 500 people stopped by the tournament Saturday, which ran all day. There were nine teams (one dropped out) playing in a double elimination tournament. The semifinals and championship are Sunday.

joew@timesreview.com

05/18/13 6:14pm
05/18/2013 6:14 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Demitri Hampton’s memory was honored Saturday at a fundraiser for a scholarship in his name.

More than 200 people packed into Robert Ludlam Park in Riverside Saturday afternoon to help raise funds for the college scholarship created in memory of a young Flanders man who was killed in a home invasion earlier this year.

The DQH Memorial Picnic benefited the DQH Scholarship Fund, and included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, music, food and raffles.

The scholarship was set up this spring to honor Demitri Hampton, a 21-year-old college student who was shot and killed in January.

The DQH scholarship Fund was founded by Mr. Hampton’s relatives and will be awarded to Riverhead High School students who are looking to attend Suffolk County Community College, where Mr. Hampton was a student.

More than a dozen teams entered the tournament, donating about $300 in total to the scholarship.

The event also received gifts from Tanger Outlet Center, Riverhead Ice and other businesses, family and friends for the raffle, said Mr. Hampton’s stepfather Theodore Trent.

“They just all volunteered,” he said. “We really didn’t’ have to go asking.”

Wendy’s fast food restaurant in Riverhead has also agreed to give 10 percent of their dinner profits on the third Thursday of every month to the scholarship fund, said Juanita Trent, Demitri’s mother.

“We’re just so blessed,” she said.

People can donate to the scholarship fund by mail at DQH Scholarship Fund, 57 Maple Avenue, Riverhead NY, 11901.

psquire@timesreview.com

04/30/13 4:00pm
04/30/2013 4:00 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy senior Danielle Gehring has signed to play basketball for Chestnut Hill College (Penn.).

COLLEGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Gehring signs with D-II school Bishop McGann-Mercy senior Danielle Gehring signed a letter of intent to play for Chestnut Hill College, a Division II Catholic college in Germantown, Penn.

Gehring did not play basketball for McGann-Mercy her senior season. She instead opted to spend the season working out with the boys’ varsity team. She also took part in clinics, worked with basketball, speed and agility trainers and former professional players.

Gehring was McGann-Mercy’s most valuable player her junior season, averaging 12 points, 5 assists, 5 blocks and 3 3-pointers per game. She was an all-league selection.

Gehring and her younger sister, Caroline, will travel to Austria and Germany in June to represent the United States in an international basketball tournament. Her two older sisters play basketball for DeSales University, a Division III school that is a 45-minute drive away from Chestnut Hill.

Gehring said, “I visited Chestnut Hill and fell in love with the school.”

COLLEGE WOMEN’S GOLF: Accolades for Santacroce Marie Santacroce of Mattituck, a sophomore at Flagler College (Fla.), was recently named to the All-Peach Belt Conference First Team. Santacroce finished in fourth place in the conference and led Flagler in tournament scoring average this year. She was also named Flagler’s most valuable player. Santacroce ended the season with eight top-10 finishes, three top-five finishes and one first-place finish during season.

COLLEGE MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD: Clancy sets personal records SUNY/Oneonta sophomore Michael Clancy of Shoreham recorded two personal-best marks recently in the discus and hammer throw at the Upstate Track Classic. He took third place in the discus with a toss of 136 feet and fourth in the hammer throw with a distance of 150-2.

COLLEGE WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD: Two firsts for Riley UConn freshman Melodee Riley of Jamesport had a big weekend for the Huskies in an invitational meet at Brown University in Rhode Island. Riley took first place in both the long jump (5.41 meters) and the triple jump (11.90).

COLLEGE WOMEN’S ROWING: Orient rower helps league champions For the third time in as many seasons, William Smith College captured the Liberty League championship with a dominating performance on Fish Creek in Saratoga Springs. Libby Hughes of Orient competed on the varsity eight team that defeated St. Lawrence, RIT, Skidmore and Union for the title. In calm, flat conditions, William Smith’s varsity eight, ranked third in this week’s CRCA/USRowing poll, defended its league title with a 2,000-meter time of 6 minutes 44.0 seconds. It is the sixth overall league championship for the Herons.

For the third time this spring and the seventh time this year, the William Smith varsity eight was named the Liberty League Women’s Rowing Boat of the Week by the conference office.

BASEBALL: MLB pitch, hit, run competition A free Major League Baseball pitch, hit and run competition for area youths will be held May 11 at 4 p.m. at Tasker Park in Peconic. Boys and girls in four age divisions (7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14) will have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including team championships at major league stadiums and the national finals at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game. The individual pitching, hitting and running champions, along with the all-around champions in each age and gender group at the local competition, will be awarded and advance to the sectional level of competition. All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and have a parent or guardian fill out a registration/waiver form prior to the start of the competition. For more information, call Brian Hansen at (631) 553-3940.

RUNNING: 5K for moms The For Our Moms 5K will be run on May 11 in Cutchogue. A fun run for kids will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by a 5K run/walk at 8:45 a.m. Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. The pre-registration cost is $25. Day-of-the-race registration costs $30. The fun run fee is $10. To register, go to www.active.com. For more information, call (631) 680-9223. All proceeds from the event will benefit Danielle Fogarty’s Campaign for the Long Island Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

03/28/13 1:30pm
03/28/2013 1:30 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead fans at a basketball game in March 2012.

More than a dozen Riverhead parents and Blue Waves fans met with Superintendent Nancy Carney last week to express concern about security and fan behavior at some of the more heated high school games — both at home and away.

Although it was not a public meeting, Ms. Carney later said the district is looking at ways to improve the fan experience.

Parent Kiesha Washington-Dean told the News-Review that last Wednesday’s meeting occurred in response to a Smithtown family’s claim that a Riverhead School District security official only watched as a father and daughter were verbally abused by a group of unruly parents during a Feb. 5 boys basketball game in Riverhead. In that game, which came down to the wire, Riverhead defeated Smithtown West 72-71.

The Smithtown family’s allegations were made during the public comment portion of the Riverhead school board’s regular meeting March 12.

Ms. Washington-Dean, whose son plays on Riverhead’s varsity basketball team, said although the allegations prompted the recent parent meeting, its focus was on rectifying problems parents believe have been recurring throughout the school year.

“We think that our issues were heard,” Ms. Washington-Dean said. “We all walked out [of the meeting] feeling pleased because they are willing to make changes.”

She and other parents say the district needs to provide security at away games to protect its fans, students and student-athletes. Ms. Carney said in an interview the district had discussed sending security guards to away games but ultimately decided to start sending school administrators instead.

“We will make sure we have an administrator there so, if there’s something bothering somebody, they have a person to go to,” Ms. Carney said. “The things we want as a district are to make sure we’re supporting our athletes and to make sure we’re presenting ourselves in a light that shows how proud we are as fans.”

While some parents want more security at away games, Ms. Washington-Dean said she and other parents don’t want Riverhead Town police officers at home games because they believe it gives the school a “bad perception.”

Ms. Carney said police are invited to most school events that draw large crowds to provide an extra sense of “comfort and security.”

“In my opinion, it’s good practice,” Ms. Carney said of having cops at games. “And most of our police officers are fans as well. They enjoy being at the games.”

Also responding to parent concerns about inequitable treatment from refs in the most recent basketball season and in years past, Ms. Carney said the district is evaluating data and plans to have a subsequent meeting with the district’s athletic director. She’ll also meet with the head of security and high school administrators to come up with ways to enhance all school sporting events.

“This was the first step, listening to the concerns from the community,” Ms. Carney said. “We’re using the information we’ve gathered so we can put things in place for next year that will help us go forward in a positive direction.”

jennifer@timesreview.com