Long Island Nets Receive NBA G League Award for Social Responsibility, Youth Basketball Programs for 2019-20 Season
LONG ISLAND – The Long Island Nets received the NBA G League Social Responsibility/Youth Basketball Program Award for achieving excellence in community outreach and youth basketball initiatives in their region for the 2019-20 season.
The NBA G League Team Business and Social Responsibility/Youth Basketball Awards recognize excellence for team business and social responsibility, and winners are chosen by a committee of league and team executives. This award was presented to three of the 28 G League teams – the Nets, Salt Lake City Stars, and Santa Cruz Warriors.
“We are committed to using our platform and resources to create programs and work with organizations that directly impact and better our Long Island community,” said Alton Byrd, Vice President of Business Operations for the Long Island Nets. “We are honored to be recognized as leaders in this space by our colleagues throughout the league, and will continue our focus on positively impacting and improving the communities right in our backyard.”
“This year’s recipients of the NBA G League Team Business and Social Responsibility/Youth Basketball Awards are the finest representations of the innovative thinking and deep commitment to their communities that all of our teams embody,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “Whether it is through technology or personal interaction, our teams continue to create strong bonds with people that help grow the game around the world.”
The Nets launched a multi-faceted social responsibility platform this season, and were recognized by the league for both their Next Gen Series, presented by the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), and their Commitment to Literacy on Long Island.
The Next Gen Series highlighted the development of young athletes while promoting an environment of safe play. The program encompassed activations at various Long Island Nets home games and community events, including:
Long Island Nets Basketball Academy presented by HSS
- The Long Island Nets hosted free monthly clinics for children in the Long Island community. The program is dedicated to helping young athletes learn basketball fundamentals and teamwork by utilizing a distinctive coaching style that stresses physical improvement, mental growth, and leadership skills necessary for success. Coaches overseeing the clinics were trained by the HSS Sports Safety Team to promote safe play and best practices.
Operate with Dale presented by HSS
- Inspired by the popular children’s game, fans could try their hand at playing a life-size “Operation” Dale the Eagle game, named “Operate with Dale,” presented by HSS. The game was present at all Nets home games and select community events.
Long Island Nets Youth Combine presented by HSS
- The Nets hosted a Youth Combine that allowed children ages 10 to 13 the opportunity to have their basketball skills measured by professional instructors, including the Long Island Nets Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Rahsaan Robinson. The Combine mirrored the format of those for NBA prospects, helping young athletes prepare for the upcoming season. Participants will have the opportunity to measure their progress at a follow-up combine.
Long Island Nets Local Player Tryouts presented by HSS
- The Nets held two local player tryouts where basketball hopefuls competed for the chance to earn an invitation to the team’s training camp. Leading up to the tryouts, the Nets released a digital content series featuring best practices and helpful tips to prepare for the tryouts with Dale and a member of the HSS Sports Safety Team.
Separate of the Next Gen Series, the Nets were awarded for their commitment to youth literacy on Long Island. They hosted Read to Achieve assemblies at 18 local schools for nearly 4,700 elementary school students to get them excited about reading. The Nets brought their in-game host, Ally Melendez, and mascot, Dale the Eagle, to these assemblies where they read to students, as well as encouraged students to participate in reading aloud in front of their peers. The Nets also launched a Reading Challenge where students across Long Island were asked to take a reading pledge and challenged to read three books in one month. If they accomplished this goal, they were awarded with a free ticket to a select Long Island Nets game and were able to take free throws on the court after the game.
Additionally, the Nets partnered with The Book Fairies, a non-profit that collects reading materials for people in-need throughout New York to help foster literacy and academic success, provide a respite from personal struggles, and nurture a love of reading across all age groups. As part of this partnership, the Nets donated more than $7,000 to the organization, as well as supported the group through book drives at their home games and partnered on multiple community events, including when The Book Fairies set the Guinness World Record for the longest line of books as part of their 2,000,000 Books Donated Celebration on March 2, 2020.