As the first official year as Level Up LI came to a close, we are very proud of our accomplishments and more importantly the growth of our players and teams. Of our 10 teams in the Spring season, (all coached by former college basketball players) 9 teams qualified for the Island Garden Super League Playoffs. Of those 10 teams, 3 won League Championships. Congrats to the players, coaches and parents on 3rd Grade Boys - White, 6th Grade Boys - Blue and 6th Grade Girls - White. The total differential in points for the 3 Championship Games were a combined 6 points! We look forward to carrying this momentum into the upcoming season.
As the first official year as Level Up LI came to a close, we are very proud of our accomplishments and more importantly the growth of our players and teams. Of our 10 teams in the Spring season, (all coached by former college basketball players) 9 teams qualified for the Island Garden Super League Playoffs. Of those 10 teams, 3 won League Championships. Congrats to the players, coaches and parents on 3rd Grade Boys – White, 6th Grade Boys – Blue and 6th Grade Girls – White. The total differential in points for the 3 Championship Games were a combined 6 points! We look forward to carrying this momentum into the upcoming season.
On June 16, 2018, Level Up LI’s Director of Operations, EJ Parry, and our Girls Director, Christina Raiti, organized the second annual, Mandy’s Mark Classic.
The Mandy’s Mark Classic was a three-game event that took place at Long Island Lutheran High School.
Amanda Kuck, daughter of LuHi’s Kim and Tom Kuck, was diagnosed on June 6, 2015 with DIPG, an aggressive pediatric brain tumor. Sadly, on January 25, 2016, only four days after her 5th birthday, Mandy lost her battle to cancer. On June 16, 2018, Mandy’s life was celebrated. The top basketball players throughout the tri-state area honored the Kuck family, raised awareness of DIPG, and raised money for DIPG cancer research with hope to prevent other parents from one day having to lose their children.
ALL proceeds from the event went towards The Cure Starts Now Foundation. DIPG is an aggressive pediatric brain tumor. Approximately 200-400 children in the US are diagnosed with DIPG each year. Medical discoveries throughout the last few years have increased survival rates for children diagnosed with other types of cancer. However, these discoveries have not helped with DIPG. Currently, there is no effective cure and no chance of survival for children diagnosed with this cancer. Only 10% of children with DIPG survive for two years after their diagnosis, and less than 1% survive for five years.
If you're interested in learning more, you can visit their website to read about the foundation at NEWYORK.THECURESTARTSNOW.ORG.
This event showcased 60 of the the tristate area’s top male and female basketball players and brought them together for one common cause. This year 30 of the 60 players were already committed to play at the collegiate level and there were many underclassmen who held scholarship offers as well. Multiple national powerhouse programs were represented throughout the rosters and we are proud of our Level Up DOP and GD for creating such powerful rosters.
This year the event raised just short of $15,000 all of which went to the Cure Starts Now New York Chapter. The game would not have been possible without the help of Level Up employee, Derek Klein, who aided in the organization and execution of the three-game event. The Mandy's Mark Classic was sponsored by Adidas and was truly a day to be remembered. Level Up was fortunate enough to have three coaches aid in the creation of this special day and also had youth teams featured during halftime of two out of the three games. For pictures of the Level Up teams featured in this special day, view the photo album below. To watch the story featured on News 12 LI, click the following link provided
Level Up Skills Clinics will be held every Wednesday night up until October 10th which will be from 6:15-7:30pm at LuHi (131 Brookville Road, Glen Head, NY, 11545). Registration will be $40 per player which you can pay at the door.
Coach Jesse Winter started his basketball career at South Side High School where he was a 2-year captain and a standout player. Just recently he was inducted into the program’s Hall of Fame for his achievements of being All-Long Island and leading the team to the Nassau County Championship Games. After high school, Jesse played at SUNY Cortland where he was a 2-year Captain. For the Red Dragons, he was the All-Time Leading Career Scorer in the school’s history, 2nd All-Time in assists and a 2-time All American that helped lead the team to a SUNYAC Championship that advanced to the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament. After College, Jesse played 1 season of professional basketball in Israel in the National League for Ramat Hasharon. Jesse is currently a FIBA Certified basketball trainer.
Coach Derek Klein started off his High School career at Lawrence where he was the starting point guard his Freshman year and received All-Conference his Junior year. As a Senior, he transferred to LuHi where he started alongside NBA star Tobias Harris and won the 2009 NY State Federation title. He then went on to play for SUNY Brockport where he was a 3-year captain and ended his career 4th all-time in assists. Currently, he continues to be one of Long Island’s rising coaches and trainers as he is in his 3rd year as Assistant Coach for the powerhouse LuHi Boys Varsity team.
Coach EJ Parry played at LuHi, helping the Crusaders win the 2009 NY State Federation Title. From there, he went on to play for SUNY Brockport for 2 years. Currently, he assists with the LuHi Boys Varsity team running all social media accounts and the LuHi Basketball Academy. This past year he founded the Mandy’s Mark Memorial Classic, a High School All-Star game which helps raise money for Pediatric Cancer Awareness and Research.