YMCA of Greater New York, New York Knicks and NYC DYCD Announce Basketball Clinics for NYC Teens

01 April 2024
group shot on basketball court


Four Jr. Knicks Basketball Clinics to Take Place Simultaneously in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island as Part of the YMCA’s Saturday Night Lights Programming

The YMCA of Greater New York, New York Knicks, and New York City Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) today announced they will provide teens with free basketball clinics from former Knicks players and Jr. Knicks coaches, in addition to a career development workshop. This is the third year of an ongoing partnership between the three organizations centered around Saturday Night Lights (SNL) — a youth development and violence prevention program providing free sports and fitness activity for more than 1,100 youth at 17 YMCA locations across NYC.

On Saturday, April 6, the YMCA will host four simultaneous Jr. Knicks basketball clinics at YMCA branches in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. During each clinic, participants will have the opportunity to strengthen their ball handling and shooting skills and meet a former Knicks player.

On Saturday, April 13, Knicks alumni and Madison Square Garden staff will host a career panel at the West Side YMCA to inform 130 teens and youth development professionals about the diversity of professional opportunities in sports.

On May 14 and May 17, the YMCA will offer two additional Jr. Knicks basketball clinics at the Cross Island Y’s Afterschool program at P.S. 134 and the Castle Hill Y’s Afterschool program at P.S. 14.

Additionally, 12 YMCA SNL Teens attended the New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets game at Madison Square Garden  on March 23. Prior to the start of the game, the teens played in a scrimmage on the MSG court.

“The YMCA of Greater New York is proud to partner with the Knicks and the City to provide high-quality programming that keeps our teens happy, healthy, and safe,” said Sharon Greenberger, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater New York. “Programs like Saturday Night Lights and our extensive offerings in career development for teens provide invaluable opportunities for personal growth that make an enormous impact in the lives of teens. The YMCA thanks the Knicks for their continued partnership and the skills they are helping Y teens to develop, both on and off the court.”

“It is imperative that the children in our local communities have safe locations to play, as well as great programming so they can fully enjoy the sport and learn valuable skills, and the Saturday Night Lights clinics are a great way to accomplish this,” said John Starks, New York Knicks Legend. “We are proud to continue our partnership with the YMCA and the Dept. of Youth & Community Development and look forward to the unique added opportunities this year.”

“As a young kid growing up in the Bronx with seven siblings, supported by a mom who worked hard to provide us everything we needed, basketball saved my life. Programs like the present-day Saturday Night Lights kept me and my brothers and sisters safe, and I am excited that DYCD is teaming up again with the New York Knicks, YMCA, NYPD, and our community partners,” said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Keith Howard. “The ‘pick and roll’ is the hardest offensive basketball play to defend, and that’s what Mayor Adams has provided young people with an expanded Saturday Night Lights: an opportunity to go on the offense and really score in their lives. DYCD looks forward to another season of skills and drills that will forever change the futures of our youth—like it did for me.”

More details about this year’s events are outlined below:

  • Saturday, March 23: Jr. Knicks Primetime Experience – 12 teens from Bed-Stuy played on the court at Madison Square Garden prior to the New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets game.
  • Saturday, April 6: Four simultaneous Jr. Knicks SNL basketball clinics will run from 5:30-7:30 PM at the following YMCA branches:

               - Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA, 1121 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
               - Northeast Bronx YMCA, 1250 E 229th St, Bronx
               - Cross Island YMCA, 238-10 Hillside Ave., Queens
               - Staten Island Broadway YMCA, 651 Broadway, Staten Island

  • Saturday, April 13:  The Knicks and YMCA will host a career panel event at the West Side Y in Manhattan (5 W. 63rd St.) Teens from all YMCA branches participating in SNL citywide will be invited.
  • Tuesday, May 14 & Friday, May 17: In addition to their collaboration with the Y’s SNL program, the Jr. Knicks will run two basketball clinics at the following YMCA Afterschool sites from 3:00 – 5:00 PM:

              - Tuesday, May 14: Jr. Knicks Clinic at the Cross Island YMCA’s Afterschool program at P.S. 134 (203-02 109th Avenue, Queens)
              - Friday, May 17: Jr. Knicks Clinic at the Castle Hill YMCA’s Afterschool program at P.S. 14 (3047          Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx)

Beginning in August 2021, the YMCA of Greater New York, in partnership with DYCD, has provided a safe, welcoming space for teens in the community at 17 locations every Saturday night, through the Saturday Night Lights program. The branches, which are located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, offer sports training and programming to participants each week from 5:00-9:00 PM.

Saturday Night Lights is just one of the YMCA’s comprehensive teen leadership and college access programs, which include Teen Night Out, Rowe Scholars, and Teens Take the City.