For the last 40 years, Paul Savramis has devoted his time and energy into creating one of the most respected basketball nonprofits in the US. He has witnessed thousands of student-athletes come in and out of the program, and, just as important, he’s watched the students form friendships with one another, despite their differences. He has also been blessed to form some friendships of his own and here reflects on a few of these.
Q: Who are some of the most influential people to come through our work with the Rising Stars Youth Foundation over the years?
Paul Savramis: We could literally give you a list several pages long, but a few names that come to mind are Jay Williams, Chuck Everson, Ron Stewart, and our very own executive director Dan Gimpel.
Q: Who is Chuck Everson?
Paul Savramis: Chuck was one of our very first players, and he came through one of our camps during our first year in operation. He stands out at more than 7 feet tall and was on the 1985 Villanova team that took out Georgetown in the national championship. Today, Chuck hosts a podcast, Big East Rewind, and remains a staunch supporter of RSYF.
Q: Tell us about Ron Stewart.
Paul Savramis: Ron was another player that came in early in the foundation’s history. He was with us the same time Chuck Everson was. Ron went on to coach the national team of France. Like Chuck, he continues to support the program.
Q: Which individuals has the Rising Stars Youth Foundation stayed most in contact with over the years?
Paul Savramis: That might be Jay Williams and Dan Gimpel. Jay, who you might know as a former pro basketball player and ESPN host, is an advocate of the program along with his beautiful mother. Dan currently serves as our executive director. Both of these men have helped the Rising Stars Youth Foundation grow into what it is today. They have shaped our program into something meaningful for our families as well as the community as a whole.