Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Rising Stars College Signing Day Reinforces the Foundation's Emphasis on Education

Paul Savramis
Isiah Dickens, signed for Williams College
Isiah Dickens, signed for Williams College
Wednesday, June 5, 2024, was a special day for Rising Stars founder Paul Savramis. It was the day Rising Stars hosted its student-athletes at the new Rising Stars Athletic Complex to celebrate their official signing with the colleges they will be attending in the fall. 
For Paul Savramis, the date was a fond reminder of the Rising Stars mission established 28 years ago when the program began. "It was a simple mission then, and it remains a simple mission today," Paul Savramis said. "To promote education!" 
"You can read all about how we expected to do that," Paul Savramis continued. "Our pillars of Play, Learn, and Grow, utilizing the power of teams to bring our players to the path they need to follow, and so on, but," Savramis concluded, "it still all comes down to promoting education." 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Rising Star Material: Carter Wilson and a Family Legacy

Paul Savramis
Carter Wilson
Paul Savramis, founder of Rising Stars, knew Carter Wilson was special from the moment he saw him play. Two things struck him: Carter's talent and his natural point guard instincts. Years later, those early impressions proved true. Carter, named Suffolk Player of the Year in 2024, has led his Rising Stars teams to numerous victories. 
"Carter has always been a special player and person, both on and off the court," said Paul Savramis. "Even as a 4th grader, he wasn't your typical point guard. He was bigger and stronger, playing all over the court. But he had that point guard vision and court sense, something truly rare at that age." 
Paul Savramis
Carter Wilson and Coach Jamaal Wilson
The Wilson family history with Rising Stars is equally unique. Carter's father, Jamaal Wilson, was a prominent figure in the Long Island basketball scene. Paul Savramis remembers Jamaal's strong desire to be part of Rising Stars. Eight years later, adding Jamaal as a coach became one of Savramis' proudest achievements. 
"Jamaal has done wonders for Rising Stars," said a thrilled Paul Savramis. "Of course, his son Carter brought attention to the program. But Carter and Jamaal also attracted other standout players who wanted to play with him. This has built one of the best teams in New York State." 

Beyond Carter, Jamaal brought outstanding coaches and trainers to Rising Stars. These included A.J. Price, a UConn standout and NBA veteran who played with LeBron James, along with Nick Carter and Prentice Small, two of Long Island's finest and former European professionals. This influx of talent created a buzz at Rising Stars, especially with the opening of their new Athletic Complex in Freeport. 
"I've always believed in offering exceptional talent with exceptional opportunities," explained Paul Savramis. "This has been the cornerstone of how I present our programs, and how I presented it to Jamaal when we first met." 
Paul Savramis
Kingsley Rogers
With his junior season complete, Carter will soon choose from several Division 1 offers. Both Jamaal and Savramis are incredibly proud. Savramis emphasizes that the opportunity he presented all those years ago has lived up to his promises. 
Jamaal's commitment extends beyond coaching. He has made Rising Stars his extended family, bringing his sister, Baylor All-American and Olympic standout Danielle Wilson, into the program. Paul Savramis admires the entire Wilson family. He points out that Danielle's son, H.S. freshman Kingsley Rogers, will be the next star for both the Wilsons and Rising Stars. 
"Kingsley keeps growing like a weed!" exclaimed Paul Savramis. Similar to Carter, Kingsley is a versatile guard. With his cousin Carter pushing him and coaches Price and Small demanding excellence, the next Wilson at Rising Stars is poised for greatness."

Monday, April 22, 2024

Paul Savramis | Rising Stars Works With Dementia Centers

Paul Savramis
Rising Stars and its founder, Paul Savramis, proudly continue to support the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia center. Rising Stars has been a proud sponsor of the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia center for the past decade. This cause is dear to the heart of founder Paul Savramis, and he wants more people to get behind it. 
"Alzheimer's and dementia should be something we are all very much concerned with," begins Paul Savramis. "I personally have gotten more involved as a result of a direct connection with Gordon Thomas," continued Savramis. 
Savramis explained that his connection began when Gordon introduced him to the Bayshore YMCA and other community programs that helped to build Rising Stars' outreach and grassroots presence in the Great South Bay areas of Long Island. It was then that Paul Savramis learned about Gordon's passion for creating awareness for Alzheimer's and that he and Thomas shared a common vehicle that could help with that awareness. 
That vehicle for Thomas was the Alzheimer's All-Star Classic and the annual Slam Dunk and 3-point contest. The second event is coming this May, and Savramis was first in line to offer his and Rising Stars' continued support. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Jovia Bank Deposits Financial Literacy for Rising Stars Student-Athletes

Paul Savramis

Recent articles and news clips have applauded the direction Rising Stars Youth Foundation has taken with its sponsor partners in March. We asked Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis to explain the whys and hows of it all. 
Q: News 12 and Pix 11 showed the grand opening and ribbon cutting at the new Rising Stars Athletic Complex this past March. A segment of the ceremony involved Jovia Bank introducing its financial literacy program and describing its hopes for impact. What can you add to that? 
Paul Savramis: The ceremony was incredible for all of us at Rising Stars. It recognized that we built this complex to offer more than just a basketball program. The Jovia Bank literacy program is one of those offerings. 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Rising Stars: It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Paul Savramis
Rising Stars and the YMCA
Rising Stars embodies the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. Founder Paul Savramis has always believed in the power of community support for a child's success. For the past 27 years, he has focused on building partnerships that make Rising Stars' mission realistic and sustainable. This vision has resulted in collaborations with over 35 partner organizations. 
Q: You've been quoted as saying "It takes a Village to Raise a Child." How does that relate to Rising Stars and its work? 
Paul Savramis: Rising Stars' mission is simple: to promote education. However, the programs that fulfill this mission have become anything but simple. They have benefited greatly from partnering with community organizations that share the common goal of making a positive difference in children's lives. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Rising Stars Sixth Grade Elite Continues To Amaze In January As The Rising Stars Athletic Complex Opens For Business

Paul Savramis
January 2024 saw great excitement and events that added meaning to the term "New" in the New Year. Topping that list was the grand opening of the new Rising Stars Athletic Complex. 
Talking to Rising Stars founder Paul Savramis, we asked what specific changes were created for Rising Stars in January and what remained the same after 27 years. 
Q: January 2024 saw the opening of your new and long-awaited Rising Stars Athletic Complex. What were some changes and events that the New Year rang in? 
Paul Savramis: The Complex already hosted its first Holiday Camp event in January and began a new training program every Saturday run by Executive Director Dan Gimpel. The Complex is now the new home for Rising Stars "Little Stars" and was the site for the Rising Stars team tryouts for the Spring season. The Athletic Complex runs 24/7 and is a hub for many other area programs. 
Q: Was that the original plan for the Athletic Complex? 
Paul Savramis: It was not, but the new plan we now have begun to develop that way organically. It was like inviting neighbors over to see your new house. It's really been a great way for Rising Stars to get more in tune with the community, make new friends, and bring in new areas where we had never been before. 
Q: With all the buzz about the Complex, you keep talking about the Rising Stars 6th grade Elite Team. What singles them out with everything else happening this January? 
Paul Savramis: It is rare that you will hear me or any other coach from Rising Stars single out any group, as every group is special for us. But this team is beyond unique. First, it has been together since the second grade, which is very unusual for the level of basketball this group maintains. The team also has competed in and won championships in just about every major event in the tri-state area. 
Q: What was the most recent event that everyone is excited about this January? 
Paul Savramis: On January 30th, 2024, the team got to play at the halftime of the New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. This was all possible by an earlier championship they won in the prestigious City Is Mine tournament. 
A special shout out to these boys, and an equal one to coach Sidney Barrington, the Rising Stars Grassroots director, for keeping the faith and this team together.

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."