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
October Skills Clinics
Join former college players and current coaches Derek Klein and Carson Neihoff on October 3rd and 10th from 6:15-7:30pm at LuHi (131 Brookville Road, Glen Head, NY). The clinic is Co-ed and is for all ages and skill levels. Registration will be $40 per player which you can pay at the door.
Columbus Day Preseason Skills Clinic
Join former college standouts and Professional overseas standouts Jesse Winter and John Randazzo for our Columbus Day Preseason Skills Clinic which will take place on Monday, October 8th. It will be open to both boys and girls and will be broken up by age. 3rd-5th grade will run from 1:00-2:45pm and 6th-8th grade will run from 3:00-4:45pm. The clinic will be held at Cove Sports Academy (27 Cedar Swamp Road, Glen Cove, NY). The cost will be $45 when registering online, $50 when registering at the door. Limited spots will be available. Register here now: http://levelupli.leagueapps.com/camps/836479-level-up-li---columbus-day-preseason-clinic
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 Niehoff began his basketball playing career at West Islip High School where he was a 3-year starter on varsity and a 2-year captain. He finished his senior season ranked 3rd in Suffolk County in scoring and finished as one of the All-Time leading scorers there. He helped lead the program to the most successful season in 30 years and was then selected to represent the Long Island Region as a starter for the silver medalist Empire State team in 2004. From there, Carson continued his playing career at SUNY Cortland where he was a 3-year starter and selected captain for his Senior campaign. He finished on the 1,000 point scoring list and received All-SUNYAC honors his Senior season. After college, he was selected as a member of the Washington Generals basketball team that plays against the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. After that, he spent 2 seasons at St. Anthony’s High School as the Freshman boys basketball coach. As recent as 2016, he was the Varsity Head Coach at Inwood Academy in Washington Heights, NY. As a coach and trainer, Niehoff values dedication, passion and the willingness to expand players game beyond their limits, through versatility and having a strong basketball I.Q.
Coach Alyson Brennan began her basketball career at Holy Trinity High School where she was a 4-year Varsity starter and a 3-year captain. She was awarded All-League her senior season. After high school, Brennan went to St. Thomas Aquinas College. As a Spartan, she was a 4-year starter and a 3-year captain. She was placed on the All-Rookie team her Freshman year. Recently she was the Head Girls Varsity Basketball coach at Holy Trinity High School.