John Starks hosts IS 227 hoops clinic

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TIP OFF: Former Knicks star John Starks, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R–Dyker Heights) and Senator Martin Golden (R–Bensonhurst) pose with students from IS 277 at the free basketball clinic on Sept. 28.
GIVING HIS JOHN HANCOCK: Starks, who works in the Knicks front office, was a star with the team in the 1990s.
JUMPING JACKS: Sixth grade students from IS 277 improve their vertical leaps at the basketaball clinic.
LINE UP: After the basketball workout, students wait to get their shirts signed by Starks, who is best known for “The Dunk,” a monster throwdown over several Bulls defenders in the 1993 playoffs.
ONE HAPPY CAMPER: Louis Brevetti proudly shows off his John Starks autographed shirt.

Learning to shoot hoops with former Knicks star John Starks sure beats after school detention.

The retired NBA All-Star showed off his legendary three-point jump shot before a crowd of 75 students at a clinic at IS 227 in Bensonhurst on Sept. 28, turning a regular afternoon into an unforgettable experience for the basketball-crazed middle schoolers.

Rosa Cacella, the executive director of the Neighborhood Improvement Association Community Services Network, which organized the clinic, said students were kept in the dark about their surprise guest until Starks walked into the school’s gym.

“The kids were ecstatic,” Cacella said. “They could not believe that a legend from the Knicks came to see them.”

Starks and former pro player and Knicks official Troy Bowers stuck around to run a skills workshop, and lecture the students on the importance of good sportsmanship, self-esteem, and healthy eating habits.

Senator Marty Golden (R-Bensonhurst), who helped host the event, said athletes provide children with powerful role models.

“I hope to one day learn of a local kid growing up to be a star on either an NBA or WNBA team,” Golden said.

Starks averaged 12.5 points per-game over a 13-year career that included a seven-year stint with the Knicks in the 1990s. He authored one of the team’s most famous plays in game two of the 1993 Eastern Conference finals, when he dunked over several Chicago Bulls players — including Michael Jordan — in a move that came to be known simply as “The Dunk.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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