Paul Savramis On RSYF Alumni

Paul SavramisPaul Savramis says that the Rising Stars Youth Foundation has brought him much joy over the years. But there are a few things that bring the non-profit’s founder greater satisfaction than seeing where the lives of the student athletes lead them. 

According to Paul Savramis, Rising Stars Youth Foundation has given birth to a few of the sport’s most notable citizens. Jay Williams, formerly of the Chicago Bulls, is one of these. Williams currently serves as Rising Stars Youth Foundation’s goodwill ambassador. The five-star athlete and his family are huge supporters of youth sports, both in New York and across the country.

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Paul Savramis: COVID-19 And Its Effects On RSYF’s Youth

Paul SavramisCOVID-19 has cost the world so much, says Paul Savramis. And, despite waning numbers in many areas, it continues to take a toll. And few people are paying more than the students and athletes of the Rising Stars Youth Foundation Family. 

According to Paul Savramis, while the coronavirus was making waves in China, it popped up on his radar. He knew based on data available as far back as February that, should the virus make it to the US, it would change the way his organization operated. Basketball is, after all, a contact sport, and contact is the one thing that has to be avoided to slow the spread.

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Paul Savramis On The Current Crisis

Paul SavramisAccording to Paul Savramis, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way his organization, Rising Stars Youth Foundation, works. Typically, the basketball outreach program hosts classes and events after school, on the weekends, and during the spring and summer breaks. However, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have put an abrupt and unfortunate stop to this. Read on as Savramis opens up about a few things that are going to look different for Rising Stars for 2020.

Q: Rising Stars is known for its annual gala. Will this go on?

Paul Savramis: Sadly, for the first time in nearly 20 years, we have had to cancel our fundraising gala. This event is made possible by generous support from our community, and it is one of the primary ways that we spread awareness of the needs of our 200+ families. The gala, which was originally slated for May 19, would’ve brought together business and community leaders as well as some of the faces of Rising Stars Youth Foundation.

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Paul Savramis | Rising Stars Reaches Beyond NYC

Rising Stars Youth Foundation has been using basketball to bridge the gap between athletics and academics for more than two decades. What started as a modest program for a handful of at-risk youth has blossomed into an outreach program that serves more than 350 boys and girls from 3rd through 12th grade, says founder Paul Savramis.

Q: How does Rising Stars work?

Paul Savramis: Rising Stars is a nonprofit outreach program that uses basketball as a vehicle to bring kids off the streets and put them on the court. We rely on donations and community support to provide both basketball and educational opportunities to the students we serve.

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Paul Savramis: UA Future Teams Show That The Future is Bright

Paul SavramisUnder Armour is one of the most prolific names in sports apparel, says Paul Savramis. But what many people don’t know is that the clothing giant is also a huge supporter of childhood athletics. They sponsor the UA Circuit, which consists of several teams ranging from youth to high school. Rising Stars Youth Foundation is lucky enough to have a few UA teams of their own.

According to Paul Savramis, in addition to the senior boys and girls  having a great run this summer the boys’ UA Future 4th 5th 6th and 7th-grade teams recently made their mark on the UA Circuit.

In Kansas City this year, the 4th graders made it to the  Final Four and the status of being listed as among the best in the country, being beaten only by the #1 team. They finished the championship  round at 13-1. At such a young age, each of these talented ball players showed passion, drive, and determination.

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Paul Savramis Rising Stars Jr. NBA Team Invited to Granity Studios

Paul SavramisRising Stars Youth Foundation founder Paul Savramis says that spring continues to be exciting for the Youth Foundations championship Junior NBA team. These select young athletes were invited to an event to celebrate the inaugural Wizenard Series Training Camp and meet basketball legend Kobe Bryant!

According to Paul Savramis, the event celebrated Kobe’s newest book and other programs produced by Bryant. Granity studios, which Bryant also founded, published the book and is known for telling creative stories that revolve around sports.

Paul Savramis said of the event, “We are thrilled to be a part of this…[and] to partner with another organization that utilizes sports to awaken the imagination of young athletes and foster emotional and mental development that allows them to reach their full potential.”

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Paul Savramis on RSYF Travel Opportunities

Paul SavramisPaul Savramis has been using basketball to teach children about life skills for over 30 years.
During that time he has had both ample time and opportunity to witness the many ways this
simple game can transform lives.

Basketball as a sport in itself, and especially when played on a team working with others in a
structured and positive environment, has many benefits. These benefits help a child’s development and make life’s lessons easier to adapt into that development but the one benefit Savramis wants to see more of is when those lessons come prepackaged with potential travel opportunities.

Q: What makes Rising Stars Youth Foundation so special?

Paul Savramis: There are many things, and possibly too many to list here. But one thing that
comes to mind at the moment is simply how grouping kids together for a common goal – in this
case, a basketball goal – changes lives. Many of the students receive scholarships for
academics and others are the first in their family history to attend a college but the opportunity
to travel, see the world outside the environment of a block or a avenue is something they may
not do ever be able to do otherwise.

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Paul Savramis: 2018 an Unprecedented Year for Growth

Paul Savramis2018 saw unprecedented growth for Paul Savramis and his nonprofit organization Rising Stars Youth Foundation. Savramis explains that just one year ago Rising Stars had a single outreach program, which was hosted at the Great South Bay YMCA. Today, Rising Stars has six boys teams and two girls teams for student athletes between fourth and eighth grade.

Q: What has contributed to such growth?

Paul Savramis: Rising Stars has enjoyed tremendous success over the last three decades. We have proven that giving children a positive outlet and somewhere they can be constructive is one of the best ways to keep them off the street and in school. Our exceptional leadership team has done an amazing job of working with local YMCAs and community centers to offer our afterschool programs and summer camps to students in need.

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Paul Savramis: Rising Stars Youth Foundation Participates in Jr. NBA

Paul Savramis: Rising Stars Youth Foundation Participates in Jr. NBA

Rising Stars founder and President Paul Savramis is excited to announce that his organization was honored with an invitation to participate in the 2018 Jr. NBA tournament. Rising Stars’ 14U Elite travel team, in collaboration with Rising Stars 6th Boro Hoops, entered and won the Jr. NBA Regional tournament in July, cementing an entry as representatives of the North East in the Jr. NBA national tournament.

According to Paul Savramis, there were sixteen teams invited to attend in total with eight representing the US and eight international teams.

The Jr. NBA national championship tournament was held in Orlando, Florida.

The 2018 Jr. NBA Championship was a year in the making and the first of its kind. It brought together the very best in the game from around the world. For the inaugural event, the championship was sponsored by Gatorade Under Armour, Kaiser Permanente and of course the NBA.

The event, held at the Disney Sports Arena had more of a feel like an international festival than a tournament. The NBA housed the team, gave out uniforms and had top players from the league in attendance like Steph Curry and LeBron James giving free clinics and advice.

A real treat was having every game treated as an NBA one, televised on Fox 5 and the NBA network. Games were announced by former and current NBA stars. Everything about the experience was filled with the excitement of an NBA ALL STARS weekend.

Paul Savramis says the inclusion of Rising Stars in this event was made even more special by the partnership with 6th Boro Hoops. 6th Boro was organized by former Savramis pupil and Rising Stars alumni Nihad Muscovic. Muscovic, who Paul Savramis says is much like his former students Jay Williams and  Dan Gimpel started 6th Boro Hoops just after high school with the support of his former coaches from the Rising Stars Youth Foundation. Like Williams and Gimpel his goal was to ultimately return and work with Rising Stars.

The team from Rising Stars played well but was ultimately defeated by the team that won the final game. The return trip home was not filled with tears, however, as the group was able to use this experience of play to learn and grow, and that is what Paul Savramis and the Rising Stars Youth Foundation hopes is the outcome of each game, each event, and each school day.

About the Jr. NBA

Paul Savramis explains that the Jr. NBA is the official grassroots youth basketball program of the NBA. It is, remarkably, a free program open to all basketball leagues that cater to kids ages six through 14. The JR. NBA is sponsored by Under Armor, which provides funding for each team’s welcome kit. In addition, the parent company NBA IS 100% behind it.

Jr. NBA members have access to grants and funding (upon application approval) not available to non-member teams.

2018 Rising Stars Youth Foundation Gala an Event to Remember, says Paul Savramis

Paul Savramis Gala Dinner 2018In 1996, Paul Savramis founded the Rising Stars Youth Foundation with one goal: To provide every child with an equal opportunity for success in life and to be their best. That was more than three decades ago. Today, his simple formula of utilizing a basketball program to reach and teach has morphed into a lifestyle for hundreds of boys and girls. Each year, RSYF hosts an annual dinner to honor these students and recognize the men, women, and businesses that help to make Rising Stars’ programs possible.

For the past seven years, the Gala has been hosted at the New York Athletic Club on Central Park. 2018 continued this tradition and introduced the most recent Man of the Year, Mr. Joe Feshbach. Mr. Feshbach joined an impressive fraternity of past men of the year. They include

MidOcean Partner CEO Ten Virtue, Mr. Thomas J. Quinlan, III, Chairman, President and CEO of LSC Communications, Mark Clouse, CEO Pinnacle Foods, Seth Waugh, Former CEO of Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs director of Alumni Mike Troy. All of these men have been honored for their belief and support of Rising Stars programs, but Mr. Feshbach was the first to have gone through the foundation with his son Josh from grades three through graduation of college (Brown University). His moving speech and personal perspective brought a special meaning and awareness to the event.

The Gala, which raises awareness of RSYF’s good work, is always a sold-out event and features Master of Ceremonies, Jay Williams. Williams is a former NBA pro and ESPN personality that is also an alumni of Rising Stars. Paul Savramis explains that Williams and his family have always been supportive of the program and like Mr. Feshbach have had the added perspective of being a part of the program since Jay was in 5th grade. But as Paul Savramis is quick to point out, the real stars of the event are always the kids.

In addition to honoring the Man of the Year and getting to enjoy Mr. William’s commentary throughout the evening, guests of the Gala get to see first-hand the impact RSYF has on their community through the stories, speeches, and testimonials of the actual RSYF kids and parents.

Paul Savramis explains that the Gala kicks off scholarship season, where deserving students are given the chance to attend one of the area’s best high schools to receive a needed private education. These kids, who have all shown academic prowess, community involvement, and athletic skill, are tomorrow’s leaders and role models for their brothers, sisters, and classmates today.

The Gala is not simply about financial assistance, says Paul Savramis. It helps to provide hope for some of NY’s most vulnerable adolescents.

For more information about RSYF, visit RisingStarsYouthFoundation.com.

Rising Stars 2018 Gala Video