Back to News Be You Stay True Hosts Jr. NBA Skills Challenge

Be You Stay True Hosts Jr. NBA Skills Challenge


Riverdale, N.Y. – Be You Stay True hosted its second annual Jr. NBA Skills Challenge at the College of Mount Saint Vincent on Sunday, February 18, 2018. The event replicates the NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge and invites participants to show off their skills by dribbling, shooting, and scoring points, while learning the fundamentals of basketball.

The success and impact of Be You Stay True over the years has allowed co-founders Andrew Curiel ’18 and Francisco “Neeko” Zeno ’18 to link their program with the Jr. NBA, the official youth basketball program of the NBA. The cooperative program encourages and supports youth basketball participation, while improving the overall experience for all participants.

“Hosting the annual Jr. NBA Skills Challenge at the Mount was an amazing experience,” said Mr. Zeno. “The children loved being on a college campus—their faces lit up as soon as they arrived. The day was filled with excitement, smiles, and most importantly, fun.”

The event, presented by Verizon, welcomed boys aged six through 13, split into two divisions. The teams worked diligently on their basketball skills throughout the early morning into the afternoon.

“It was great to host this event for a second time,” said Mr. Curiel. “We had a better understanding of how to run the program, which allowed us the opportunity to give the children a more professional experience. We strive to follow the model of the NBA—we drilled participants, gave them a Q&A experience, and interviewed them after the competition.”

Winners from the skills challenge will move on to the regional competition held at Basketball City, where they will compete against other children from the Eastern New York Region.

Be You Stay True, a basketball program based in New York City, focuses on self-empowerment, giving back, and expanding opportunities for young individuals through the game of basketball. The program hosts frequent halftime events during basketball games at the Mount, as well as a day camp each summer. They are currently planning their largest camp to date, a two-day basketball camp set for July 2018.

“Everyone who attends our programs truly embodies what it means to be a part of Be You Stay True,” continued Mr. Zeno. “The skills challenge was no different—it was a pleasure to spend the day with the children and their families.”

For more information on Be You Stay True, as well as upcoming events, please visit their website or follow them on Instagram @beyoustaytrue_.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, service, and leadership in the 21st century.