Castle Boys Run the Gauntlet
February 14, 2016
Castle has accepted the invitation to have its high-school aged boys teams join the 2016 Adidas Gauntlet Series. For several years, the Castle boys have been knocking off some of the top national teams and the invitation is a validation of the superb work of the Castle coaches and the play of Castle's student athletes.
The teams will play in the Uprising Gauntlet Series 1 and 2 in Dallas and Atlanta, respectively, during the April "live" periods. Depending upon their finish during such weekend play, the teams will move on to the Uprising Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg, SC in early July. And, like last year, the teams will play in the Uprising Summer National Championships in Las Vegas in late July.
Brian Rosen, President of Castle Athletics and coach of this year's 16U team, said that the program has been discussing joining one of the series for several years. "Last year, we showed that we belonged in that group. All of our teams played so well in Las Vegas and our 15U team went deep in the tournament. This is a great opportunity for our student athletes and we appreciate the invitation and the faith that Adidas has shown in the Castle Knights."
Tryouts for the high school teams will be held during the first two weeks in March, following the conclusion of playoffs. For information on the tryout schedule, continue to watch the website for details.
Tutoring Finishes the Winter Season
February 13, 2016
The Castle tutoring program finished off the winter season today with five teams practicing and taking advantage of the academic enrichment sessions. Over the past few months, our teams have received help with homework assignments and special projects, were assisted with reading and math problems and enjoyed opportunities to play with the arts.
Education Director Howie Harrison said that the student athletes enjoy the program and that they feel part of a family. "They understand that Castle cares and that they are not just part of a basketball team. We are in this together and the educational component of Castle is the most important aspect of what we do and where we hope to show the most improvement in our student athletes."
Castle will begin its Spring/Summer program starting next week with tryouts for its elite middle school teams. For tryout information, CLICK HERE. For information regarding the teams and their upcoming seasons, click on the respective team under the "Team" tag above.
Castle Gala a Massive Celebration
February 12, 2016
On Monday evening, Castle Athletics hosted its First Annual Gala at The Parkview Lounge in the Time Warner Center. Over 200 persons were on hand.
As noted by President Brian Rosen, the event was a celebration of all the great things Castle has accomplished since its inception in 2008. He noted the growth of the program from a single group of fifteen boys to over 200 children, ages 8-18, participating in various academic sessions and taking advantage of the highly competitive basketball program. He mentioned the overwhelming support of the NYC community and how becoming a "Castle Kid" is transformative for it sets Castle's student athletes on the path towards academic success in high school, college and beyond.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the 2016 Player of the Year Award to Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr., CEO of Black Enterprise. Upon accepting his award, Butch commented upon the difficulties facing inner-city youth and how Castle provides a light to be followed, a forum to excel and a haven in which to be comfortable and to grow. We thank Butch for his insight and his generosity. In attendance with Butch were three of his children, Teddy, Kristin and Erika.
The surprise remarks were delivered by Souleymane "Sal" Koureissi, a sophomore at Iona Prep and a member of Castle’s 16U program. Sal addresses the gathering and discussed what it was like to be a "Castle Kid" for the past two plus and how Castle has helped him every day since joining the program.
Many thanks to everyone who helped make the evening a success and especially to Jordan Zelin for his assistance planning the festivities.