Lynbrook Varsity Basketball Plays for a Cause

The varsity boys’ and girls’s basketball teams have each had amazing seasons so far, with the impressive records of 21-4 and 10-4, respectively. After an incredible season, the boys’ team chose to give back to the Nassau-Suffolk Autism Society of America (NSASA), and the girls’ team played its benefit game for Hoops for Hope.

NSASA is a parent-run organization that works to “support individuals with autism in [its] local community,” according to the organization’s website. Currently, over 4,000 families on Long Island are served by NSASA, which provides these families with free social and education opportunities for their children affected by autism. Events hosted by the organization include roller skating, movie nights, and bowling. Additionally, the organization has provided grants to local school programs that serve children with autism.

The boys defeated Bethpage 47-40 at the Feb. 2 home game. Throughout the game, t-shirts were sold, and the proceeds went directly to NSASA. Additionally, donations were accepted at the door. 

Senior basketball player Peter Donnarumma said, “It’s a great cause and something players on our team feel very passionate about. We were excited to see a bunch of people at the game and donating for something special.” 

The players were excited to play this game for a good cause. “Of course I love playing basketball, but to be able to play to support a good cause makes playing more rewarding,” said senior Haris Cekic. “Being a basketball player gives me a platform to make a difference and shine attention on important causes like autism awareness,” Cekic said. “This type of game has given me that opportunity.”

Senior Dylan Stalter added, “It’s awesome because we get to go out and play with an extra motive knowing that this game means more than just a win. This game showcases how the basketball program can unite and contribute towards a greater cause.”

Finally, Donnarumma shared, “Playing in this game meant everything to me. This is a tradition that happens every year for basketball, being able to support charities and foundations. But, as a senior, it feels more exciting than ever. I’m happy we are able to help the NSASA.”

The girls beat Valley Stream South 59-30 on Feb. 3, and the money raised at their game went to Hoops for Hope, an organization for which people play basketball to raise money for cancer research. It was started in 2006 and inspired by Diane Brumwell’s fight against cancer. When she passed away, her two sons, both basketball players, began the organization. The girls’ team is very proud to support the organization. They also sold merchandise at the game and accepted donations at the door.

Senior Grace Bodian shared how excited she was for the game. “I am beyond thankful that I am able to play a sport I love while helping others at the same time,” she said.

Junior Tyla Vuotto was happy to be able to do what she loved, play basketball, while raising money for people in need. Hoops for Hope also resonates with Vuotto on a personal level. “Playing this game means so much to me because these donations go out to cancer research,” Vuotto said. “Helping out cancer patients is so important to me because my cousin had cancer. I’ve seen how difficult it was for my aunt and uncle, and anything donated for my cousin meant a lot to him and his family.”