YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Jeannie Geyer wanted to do something for a good cause, and as sports director for the Solaris Sports Club in Yorktown, she was in the position to make that happen.
Geyer teamed with her intern, Mahopac High School senior Carly Pease, 17, who came to Geyer via the school’s WISE program, to bring two members of the Westchester Knicks (the New York Knicks’ Developmental League franchise) to Solaris for a youth basketball clinic. The proceeds generated benefitted the Putnam County SPCA.
Geyer and Pease worked the phones for two months to plan the clinic, which was held Monday, March 21.
“Her (Geyer) main thing was for me to run a big event and have a lot of people here,” said Pease, whose goal is a career in sports management. “The money goes towards a really good charity.”
About 75 kids, ages 10 to 16, strapped on their sneakers and engaged in some basketball drills coached by Westchester Knicks Ra’Shad James and Kevin Capers.
“It’s a great event,” Geyer said. “We’re so happy we got [the Westchester Knicks] to come out and do this event for charity—the SPCA. It feels really good doing stuff like that.”
In total, roughly $325 was raised for the SPCA. The donations came from clinic attendees as their parents watched the kids up their game.
SPCA Det. Kenneth Ross III saw meaning in the clinic that went beyond dollar signs.
“It makes me feel that people care,” Ross said. “They believe in the cause that we provide and that our mission has a backing to it.”
Before breaking into a sweat, the kids were greeted by James and Capers. Both would help break down drills for kids and give them a taste of what it takes to become a professional ballplayer.
“Whenever you could come out and be a positive influence for these kids’ lives, allow them to see the steps that you took to become a professional. it’s always great,” James said. “I feed off these [kids’] energy. “It’s a great atmosphere.”
Once drills were in play, it was hard to pull the kids away from clinic instruction. Jimmy Geyer, a 14-year-old who wants to play basketball in college, learned from each drill he went to and improved on his “dribbling skills and the way I shoot.”
Having just put up a jumper in a defensive closeout drill, 14-year-old Mike Horan was already implementing the instructions he received on the court.
“It’s a cool experience,” Horan said, “I wish I could do it every weekend.”