CYO to raise funds for Basketball Hall of Fame
By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD -- A new program begun by the Greater Springfield Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Basketball program is designed to raise money for the Basketball Hall of Fame and recognition for the city as a center for the sport.
On July 8, CYO President John Maloney, Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva and Mayor Domenic Sarno unveiled a new embroidered patch that will adorn the uniforms of the city's CYO league players in the center court at the Hall of Fame. The dollar that players pay for the patch will go to the Hall of Fame and Maloney made a donation of $1,000 that is the first installment of what he said will be a total of $11,000 this year.
Maloney said the patch program is expected to be adopted by CYO groups in New York and New Jersey.
Maloney also used the announcement to honor Patrick Sullivan for his work on behalf of the city's youth. Sullivan, who is the city's parks superintendent and facilities management director, was named the CYO Person of the Year.
"Without Patrick Sullivan's commitment, far above and beyond what he does seven days a weeks for Springfield's parks, schools and young people, we simply could not run the CYO program that serves thousands of children here. Patrick helps provide an alternative for our young people," Maloney said.
Following the announcement ceremonies, young players took to the court at the Hall of Fame. The hoop shrine will host three CYO games every Wednesday through Aug. 12. The games will be played at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Hall. The games are part of the second season of the Mayor Domenic Sarno Summer basketball League.
Maloney said the local CYO will host the first Domenic Sarno Invitational Tournament Aug. 20 through 23 that will feature play among seventh and eighth grade girls teams from Boston, new Haven, Conn. and New York, NY.
Michael Borecki, the CYO director of development, stressed the importance of partnerships to the organization and said the local group has partnerships with the newly named Springfield Armor NBA D-League team as well as the NCAA Division II championships.
Maloney said, "We will entertain anything to do with basketball and kids."