Tuesday, December 19, 2023

December 10th 2023 Kicks Off Rising Stars Youth Foundation’s First Community Service Event At The New Rising Stars Athletic Facility In Freeport

Paul Savramis

Kudos to Rising Stars educational and community events director Mikaela Kelly in putting together another great event to help families in need. 
 
Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis had nothing but praise for Mikaela and held her accomplishments in high esteem. According to Paul Savramis, "Mikaela stepped into some very big shoes to fill when Emily Ades left as our community programs director to head the new Kinnect Foundation.” Paul Savramis went on to note, "Emily created a footprint for us to follow. She was amazing in how she was able to engage family, academic needs, and a commitment to community. Rising Stars was Emily's signature program and although the new position she left for was an amazing opportunity, it was a huge loss for us. Luckily, Mikaela Kelly came in and lightning struck twice." 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Rising Stars Athletic Complex Scheduled to Open November 2023

Paul Savramis

Rising Stars Founder and President Paul Savramis proudly announced the grand opening of the Rising Stars Athletic Complex, the new home of the Rising Stars Youth Foundation. 
 
The recently completed Rising Stars Athletic Complex had a soft opening for a small group of directors, coaches, and guests on November 30. The complex, located at 63 Babylon Turnpike in Freeport, Long Island, is a complete renovation of the historical Freeport Armory. 
 
We asked Paul Savramis how he felt about seeing a dream come true. 
 
"This certainly has been a long time coming," said Paul Savramis. "We have had many opportunities to develop properties in the past, but this was something that we couldn't pass up." Paul Savramis continued, "Freeport provides us with a centrally located address right off the highway that all of our families have easy access to. The title ‘Athletic Complex’ is misleading as this is far from just a gymnasium. In addition to housing two state-of-the-art basketball courts, the 16,000-sq-foot renovation includes an academic center, community rooms, administrative offices, a training room, and a fitness center.” 
 
Paul Savramis

Paul Savramis

Over the past 27 years, the Rising Stars Foundation has developed and maintained partnerships with more than 35 high schools and other youth groups to offer tutoring and other academic and community support in addition to training for their boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. The Rising Stars Athletic Complex will now be able to provide all of those activities under one roof. 
 
"We are beyond excited," was how Executive Director Dan Gimpel put it. "This has been a dream of mine ever since I started coaching and training with Rising Stars. When Paul Savramis asked me to take over as Executive Director, he told me this would happen one day, and now that day has come!" Paul Savramis echoed Gimpel's sentiments and added, "Danny has put in an enormous amount of time and effort in seeing this project through. It would never have happened without him. The future of Rising Stars is in great hands.” 
 
Said Paul Savramis, "there were so many dreamers in Rising Stars history that imagined this home happening one day, which makes this day all the more special.” Savramis gave special credit to Rising Stars ambassador Jay Williams and his mother, the late Althea Williams, who both had shared the dream: “Althea Williams was the spirit of our academic enrichment programs, and Jay Williams was our voice and biggest supporter over the years.” Savramis also gave credit and homage to the late Tyrone Green, who began the first Rising Stars outreach program in Long Island City, Queens, at the Long Island City YMCA. 
 
Gimpel, Williams, and other Rising Stars alums always shared the dream of having a bridge where communities offered a union of academic and sports programs that brought families together with the common goal of helping themselves and others. 
 
For them, it was a way of giving back what programs like this gave them. The walls of the facility will show photos that echo past Rising Stars players' achievements, which is something that Gimpel has made a focal point of Rising Stars' future. "Bringing back our past is the key to our future," emphasized Gimpel. 

Paul Savramis

“Dan is not just our Executive Director; he is Rising Stars' success story,” said Savramis. He added, "every year there are new stories like his that come back to join Rising Stars, and every year they come back with families that will add stories of their own." 
 
Gimpel explained that those stories have appealed to community partners like Orlin & Cohen, Jovia Bank, Wilson Sports, and others who want to be a part of the Rising Stars family. Jovia Bank saw Rising Stars as a family-centered organization that could offer community programs, especially a financial literacy initiative. Orlin & Cohen offered Rising Stars families free injury recovery and other medical services. Both organizations hope to see Rising Stars families and friends become a permanent part of their families. 
 
The Rising Stars Athletic Complex offers a new journey for Rising Stars that will see a new direction. But, like anything new, that direction will work best going forward by looking back at the lessons of what's worked in the past.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

CJ Williams: A Rising Stars Success Story That Checks Off All Of The Boxes

Paul Savramis

Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis has always told us that when you look back on a 27-year history that spans thousands of stories, the most successful are the ones that stand out. 
 
When one of those stories defines how Paul Savramis measures the success of the Rising Stars programs, he can't wait to share it. This month's story is one Savramis tells with a great deal of pride as it does just that. That story Savramis shares is the CJ Williams story. 
 
CJ Williams came to Rising Stars as one of the bigger boys in his grade. Pretty quickly, he began to stand out on the basketball court. But, Savramis would go on to explain, it was what CJ’s parents would share about CJ above and beyond basketball that caught his attention and made him believe this was going to be someone very special. 

Monday, September 11, 2023

Fall 2023 Brings So Much More Than Usual For Rising Stars

Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis kicks off his foundation's fall and winter outlook with much more than the usual news! 
 
We have always done a Fall and Winter preview on what Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis sees as new for Rising Stars, but this year seemed filled with greater anticipation. We recently sat down with Savramis, who told us of the things to come and left us excited for the future of Rising Stars Youth Foundation. 
 

Q: You seem exceptionally excited about this year's return to school events. What is so different? 
 
Paul Savramis: To start, I have to give some credit to our staff for putting our 13th Annual Golf Outing together again this fall. Kudos to Tom Hughes, who was instrumental in putting the first one together and improving on each year after year. I wanted to include that flier in this preview. 
 
Q: We did a story on the outing last year. What else is coming this fall that you have every fall? 
 
Paul Savramis: Fall means community and families getting back together for special events. For us, we always look forward to the Long Island Alzheimer's Annual All-Star Classic, where our teams play at halftime of the Nassau vs. Suffolk game. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis Praises Elite Girls’ Travel Program

Paul Savramis

Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis was expecting great things when he added former USA Olympic Gold medal winner coach Jill Cook to the staff of the program's senior girls’ teams. 
 
Jill's resume included coaching at NYC powerhouse Christ The King as the winningest coach in girls' basketball. Jill also trained and coached a number of women's basketball greats, including Sue Bird. According to Paul Savramis, "Jill Cook has the same respect and stature in women's basketball as any one of the top names on the men's side." 
 
“I never thought we would ever add anyone like Bethany LeSueur to our staff,” Paul Savramis continued, “but since Beth came over, she has surrounded herself with other great people and coaches.” Still, the addition of Cook amazed Paul Savramis and that has solidified Bethany's coaches as an unbeatable force. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Rising Stars New York City Grassroots 2023 Summer Continues As Among Its Strongest Showing Ever

Paul Savramis

We asked Rising Stars President and Founder Paul Savramis why the Rising Stars teams’ successes this summer are so important to him. 
 
Q: You have described the summer of 2023 as one of the most successful in 26 years. To what do you attribute that? 
 
Paul Savramis: Our team's overall success continues to amaze me, but it's the effort made by our youngest team programs that are making all the difference. That success is a huge part of our overall team-building philosophy. 
 
Q: You mention overall team-building philosophy; how young are the youngest Rising Stars, and at what age do you begin competitive play? 
 
Paul Savramis: Rising Stars' overall programs begin as a developmental K-3 co-ed program called Little Stars. The game of basketball is introduced to our "Youngest Stars" by sharing general recreational activities together and just having fun by playing no-pressure games. That naturally leads them to segue into more competitive basketball. Our emphasis remains on making sure that they enjoy themselves and that their first experience is always a great one. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Paul Savramis Discusses Upcoming Athens Trip

Paul Savramis

Rising Stars founder Paul Savramis has encouraged coach James McCullough and his 15U Rising Stars to follow the dream of traveling to Greece throughout the year. Coach McCullough has developed a unique bond with this team since he began playing with Rising Stars in 4th grade. The opportunity of expanding the team experience through cultural exchange and competition in Greece was a dream that has come true. 
 
Coming up on July 19th, the team will be going to Athens. 
 
This trip has been over a year in planning, stated Savramis, and was completely self-funded by the families. Paul Savramis adds, "Cultural exchange and being part of a team that can experience new challenges and opportunities together is a life-changing event." Paul Savramis has been and continues to be a huge proponent of travel, whether local, national, or international.