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. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Paul Savramis Proud To Announce Rising Stars’ Continuing Support of The Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation Basketball Events and Events Founder Gordon Thomas

Paul Savramis

May 19th saw the 13th Annual Alzheimer's Allstars 3-point Shootout and Dunk contest presented by Founder Gordon Thomas to raise funds for the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation and to create awareness of the disease, and Rising Stars’ Paul Savramis was proud to be there. 
Said Paul Savramis, “This event, and any other that Gordon Thomas puts together, is one that I will never miss. Gordon is amazing in his dedication and how much time, energy, and personal resources he puts into everything he does.” 
Paul Savramis has seen firsthand what these events do to create awareness for Alzheimer's. He has participated in an Alzheimer's Sensitivity Day where volunteers are shown what it's like to have and to live with Alzheimer's, and he has seen the effect that day had on the Rising Stars families that attended. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

A Beautiful Soul And The Heart of Rising Stars Remembered

Paul Savramis

Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis Remembers Althea Williams
Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis has experienced a great deal at the helm of the program he began 26 years ago. On any given day, he can share a moment that brings a smile or reason to feel good about the future. He is thankful for that. 
But today, Savramis can only think back with incredible sadness and loss on the passing of the one person he credits as being the driving force behind his work and his inspiration for creating Rising Stars. 
That person was Althea Williams. 
Savramis finds it difficult to articulate any memories of Althea. The emotions take over and the words fall short.“I learned so much from Althea that it's impossible for me to know where to begin!”