Knicks legend John Starks was at Thursday night, teaming up with the school's sports business management program to spread some holiday joy to area children.
Students from Westhab and the New York Junior Tennis League were invited because of their excelled work in the classroom and in the community. Starks was there representing his John Starks Foundation, encouraging the children to keep up the good work.
“Jennifer Alpert, the director of my foundation, teaches a course up here and she gave her students a project, they created an event and they did a beautiful job,” said Starks. “It’s something kids can really enjoy and get the fruits from it and they will brighten up their holidays.”
A decade removed from his memorable 8-year run with the Knicks, Starks continues to give back by providing high school students with scholarships. His foundation hosts a plethora of events including a golf tournament and a casino night, all in an effort to raise funds and give kids a better life.
“It’s something that I wanted to do to give back to high school students,” said Starks. “I wanted to provide kids with an opportunity that I didn’t have coming out of school. Scholarships were the best option because a lot of these kids don’t know where to look, don’t know where to find money, and for me personally it gives me a chance to really help kids jump start their career.”
Starks sat down with Santa Claus to sign autographs and take pictures with the children. Smiles were plentiful, as child after child stood next to the Knick legend and St. Nick before Starks took the group onto the court for a quick demonstration.
“I think being a part of a team teaches you about working together and motivation, what it takes to reach a goal,” Starks said. “Making sure that they understand that you have to give back to their community, you can’t always take, you have to give back.”
The NBA all-star also discussed the current Knick team, and while he said he likes the off season moves the Knicks made, he offered this piece of cautionary advice to the players about to embark on the 66-game abbreviated season.
“Get your rest,” Starks said, “Get your rest because it is going to be taxing on your body. It probably took a year off my career if not more. You play game after game and you really don’t have time for practice anymore so you play the game then you rest then you go back and play the game.”
Starks has been a head coach for USBL’s Westchester Wildfire but said he hasn’t thought about returning to an NBA bench anytime soon, adding that he enjoys his free time and helping area kids reach their goals.
Yesterday’s Local Results:
Sport: Girl’s Basketball
Game: Horace Greeley vs. Harrison
Score: Horace Greeley Won 55-43
Highlights: Jackie Brett picked up 18 points for the Quakers and Shawn Caparelli led Harrison with 16.
Sport: Ice Hockey
Game: Rye Country Day vs. Rye Town Harrison
Score: Rye Country Day Won 2-0
Highlights: Zachary Coppola and Henry Beshar each scored for Rye Country Day in the win.
Sport: Boy’s Swimming
Game: Harrison vs. Osssining
Score: Harrison Won 48-44
In boy’s swimming, Harrison and Keio will face off at Manhattanville College at 5:15 p.m.
In Wrestling, Harrison will host Eastchester, Pleasantville and White Plains at L.M.K. Middle School at 4 p.m.