By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO April 2, 2004 As a large group of parents and other family members looked on last Saturday morning in the gymnasium of the Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School, dozens of participants in the Monticello Youth Hoops Clinic dribbled, passed and shot the basketball in a fast-paced, fun game.
The game and an awards ceremony marked the end of the clinic for the 2004 season. Beginning on January 10 and continuing each Saturday though March 27, a total of 79 third, fourth and fifth-grade students learned about the game of basketball.
The Monticello Youth Hoops Clinic is held annually in conjunction with the Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department. The program is also affiliated with the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Keys to Success program.
Prior to the game, each of the youngsters received a trophy and a Jr.NBA/Jr.WNBA packet. That packet contained a personalized certificate for successfully completing the program as well as a Jr.NBA/Jr.WNBA calendar and poster.
The clinic has been in existence for at least 10 years. Two of the members of the 2003-2004 Monticello High School varsity basketball team, junior T.J. Walker and sophomore Brad Cooper, participated in the hoops clinic when they were younger.
Betsy Conaty, the Director of the Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department, and Michael Barnofsky were the coordinators of the hoops clinic. Assisting them were Reed Barnofsky, a 2003 Monticello Central School graduate, Danny Catalano, who is a senior at MHS, and a gentleman affectionately known as Old School Dave.
Its a lot of fun, said Michael Barnofsky, noting that many of the passing and dribbling skills the youngsters learned during previous weeks at the clinic were utilized during Saturdays game. We had a very good year.
Conaty stressed the importance of her fellow volunteer leaders.
I would like to thank Michael, Reed, Danny and Dave for all of their assistance, she said. This program would not be as successful as it is or even possible without all of their help.
Participants in this years program included: Cyle Aber, Devin Acevedo, Riddhish Ahir, Earl Allen, Mistah Alli, Misty Anderson, Jonathan Andrews, Juan Pablo Arango, Brian Arroyave, Jason Arroyave, Georgios Astras, Jonathan Avila, Kerissa Bennett, Charnelle Bridges, Connor Briggs, Kristina Bruce, Kenneth Burke, Devin Cabrera, Rebecca Calhoun, Jenny Call, Anthony DelGatto, Nicholas DelGatto, Franky Diaz, Joe Diaz, Tyissha Dixon, Elijah Dones, Warren Dumas, Joshua Etkin, Katie Fisher, Trevor Fraser, Adrian Galeas, Paul Gomez, Isabela Gonzalez, Jessica Gray, Lacey Gray, Dontae Halyard, Shelby Jakaitis, Timothy Jones, Meghan Kocijanski, Aisha Laguna, Daisha Laguna, Sarah Lehrfeld, Christopher Leon, Jahvel Lewis, Cindi Lopez, Jesus Mangual, Kariem McCline Jr., Cori Natale, Kathleen ORourke, Harsh Parekh, Daniel Paulino, Tanya Perez, Malcolm Pinto, Joran Ramirez, Felicia Reed, Patrick Ripa, Ryan Rosenblum, Rex Rraci, Valentina Rraci, Angel Sanchez, Kenneth Sanders, Paxten Sanders, Anthony Simpson, Tyler Solomon, Lance Tate, Shannon Thomas, Tatiana Thompson, Jamel Threatt, Bryant Valencia, Anthony Wahl, Brandon Walker, Brian Walker, Alexis Watkins, Talon Watson, Amy Weigand, Ariel Williams, Mitchell Williams, Nya Williams and Ahkeelah Young.