Rising Stars Family Appreciation

Rising Stars Teams spent some time this week talking about the value of gratitude. They wrote cards to their parents thanking them for being their biggest fans, driving them to games, filling their water bottles, getting them to practice on time, cleaning their uniforms and most of all – supporting their passion for the sport of basketball.

They presented their parents with the cards along with Rising Stars FAMILY shirts in a festive Rising Stars gift bag. The kids felt good about being thankful and the parents were touched. Once again, Rising Stars shows that we are about SO MUCH MORE than just basketball!


















Rising Stars Fall Honor Roll

The Rising Stars Honor Roll is assembled each semester to recognize our student athletes for their academic achievements. The following children made the honor roll within his or her respective school. Congratulations to all of these student athletes for their hard work in the classroom.

First Name Last Name Grade First Name Last Name Grade
Kyle Finnell 4 Gregory Kenney 7
Emma Lipner 5 Rami Hahami 8
Elizabeth Kenney 5 Matthew Cohn 8
Caitlin Kenney 5 Nicole Paprocky 8
Luke Chatham 6 Brandon Gilbert 8
Mano Idir 6 Jesse Korkos 8
Kendrick Wilson 6 Cristina Johnston 8
Ely Hahami 6 Thomas Decker 8
Billy Kind 6 Riley Rottkamp 8
Olivia DelTatto 6 Alina Ali 8
Christopher Bergersen 6 Hunter Crawford 8
Alex Gatto 6 Zoey Quinn 8
Natalie Poon 6 Hailey Clancey 8
Matthew Garside 6 Riley Fanning-Hughes 8
Luke Gottfried 6 Uma Kaushik 8
Jack McLoughlin 6 Niko Kosmidis 8
Ava Bartoli 6 Christian Schwirzbin 8
Charlit Hartenstein 6 Matthew Feingold 8
Madeline Wallace 6 Brianna Werny 8
Amelia Carmen 6 Cherish Atkinson 9
Alex Wiggington 6 Kelly Bergersen 9
Luke DiBenedetto 6 Isiaha Dickens 9
Drew Feinstein 6 Malachi Phillips 9
Ryan Freund 6 AJ Piedra 9
Preston Rothkrug 6 Autumn Washington 9
Robert Pericolosi 6 Hassan Diarra 10
Chase Robinson 7 Jonathan Hahami 10
Malcolm Wrisby-Jefferson 7 Brian Kenyon 10
Isaac Martinez 7 Kimani Merchant 10
Luke Perry 7 Elijah Perry 10
Lindsay Hogan 7 Zayquan Warren 10
Aidan Tessler 7 Ryan Washington 10
Brianna Fassett 7 Constantino Kosmidis 11
Kyla Nembach 7 Matthew Streeter 11
Isabella Zangari 7 Brandon Jacobs 12
Shannon Hughes 7 Jayden Sutton 12
David Berlin 7 Hannah Peck 12
Bayram Hot 7 Keanu Brewster 12

Rising Stars Pay it Forward at Alzheimer’s Awareness Night

Rising Stars Scholarship Recipients paid it forward at The Alzheimer’s Awareness Night at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. This event, took place on October 19, 2016 and is a pre-cursor to the Alzheimer’s All-Star Basketball Classic which is the brainchild of Gordon Thomas, an all-star basketball player at St. John’s University who was drafted by the New York Knicks. He created the event in memory of his late father, helping to fight Alzheimer’s and build awareness among up-and-coming student athletes.

Rising Stars volunteers assisted staff from the Alzheimer’s Association of Long Island as they educated the attendees about the illness. All the participants were given the opportunity to gain understanding by completing a virtual Alzheimer’s experience simulating the symptoms that patient’s experience.

It was a special night as Rising Stars kids learned the value of helping others.

9th Grader Malachi Philips completes the virtual symptom experience

9th Grader Malachi Philips
completes the virtual symptom experience

Rising Stars enjoying the event

Rising Stars enjoying the event

Rising Stars Volunteers ~ happy to help out!

Rising Stars Volunteers ~ happy to help out!











Jonathan Piedra Essay

jonAt the Alzheimer’s awareness event I was lucky enough to hear inspiring words of courage and knowledge from Coach Gordon Thomas. After I learned the struggle that Gordon Thomas’s father went through with Alzheimer’s, the coach’s words caught my attention. After taking the test that makes you experience the pain that people with Alzheimer’s deal with while completing simple tasks, I was astonished after struggling to set a table and find a shirt. I learned the battle that people with Alzheimer’s fight every day and I am truly grateful for participating in the Rising Stars charity event, providing a set-up where I learned to be appreciative and be more sensitive to older people fighting this disease.


AJ Piedra Essay


Before I walked into the Alzheimer’s awareness event, I was ignorant on how much harder life can be when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. One thing that really stood out to me was the image of the normal brain and a brain of someone who has Alzheimer’s. Parts of the brain start to dissolve, so when a person with Alzheimer’s can’t remember a name or task, that is the reason. Additionally, after putting on the special glasses, and special foot insoles, I felt a glimpse of how daily life is for an Alzheimer’s victim. I learned to be more patient and encouraging to them because life comes around harder for them. Knowing a little more about coach Gordon Thomas’s father, this event is well deserved in his remembrance. Being the first black detective in his town; he is a great role model for kids everywhere. I greatly appreciate participating for such an outstanding organization, and for yet exposing me to new things.

Eyeking is Proud to Announce Continued Support for Rising Stars Youth Program






Eyeking is Proud to Announce Continued Support for Rising Stars Youth Program

Melville, NY – Eyeking, the worldwide distributor and manufacturer of eyewear, is thrilled to announce their continued support for Rising Stars, the Long Island and NYC based nonprofit that supports youth in the Nassau County and Tri State area. A longtime supporter of the local organization, Eyeking will donate 200 pairs of its award winning Under Armour Eyewear to participants in the upcoming Rising Stars annual golf fundraiser to be held on October 11th at the Cherry Valley Country Club in Garden City, Long Island.

Rising Stars provides a solid foundation for hard to reach youth with yearly programs that utilize team sports to promote education and life skills. Shelly Goldman, President of Eyeking, says, “My father Lionel always stressed to me the importance of supporting educational, health and cultural organizations where we live and work. I am pleased to honor his memory in this way by supporting the wonderful work Rising Stars does with children in our community.” Fundraiser participants will receive their new Under Armour Eyewear styles when they check in for the event.

Rising Stars Executive Director Dan Gimpel says, “We are thrilled to work with Eyeking for our event this year. They are much more than just a sponsor for us but a real partner in our effort to make a meaningful difference to the youth of our community.”

About Rising Stars:
Since 1996, Rising Stars has placed an emphasis on developing the core values and life skills needed for children to make correct decisions throughout the formative teen years of high school. Rising Stars uses the power of teams as a conduit to mentor, teach, train, empower and enrich the lives of the youth within the community.

About Eyeking:
Eyeking, LLC is a fourth generation, award winning eyewear design firm that develops, markets and distributes globally, private label and licensed eyewear brands. Eyeking’s license partners include Under Armour Eyewear and Hobie Polarized. For more information on Eyeking please contact Lisa@lisawellspr.com

Rising Stars Scholars Participate in the Meals from the Heart Program

On August 18, 2016, Rising Stars Scholarship Recipients participated in the Meals from the Heart Program at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in New Hyde Park. The Rising Stars Scholars learned that they were doing more than just cooking dinner for the 50 families that are staying at RMH to be near their sick children at Cohen’s Children’s Hospital. They learned that they are showing these families that people care, and that gives them hope. Rising Stars Scholars were very aware that sometimes hope is just what people need to make them feel better after a long day at the hospital. The student-athletes transformed to chefs as they worked hard cooking a full meal from scratch and then transformed once again to camp counselors as they spent time playing with the residents after dinner. We are so proud of our Rising Stars Scholars who represent everything that The Rising Stars Foundation stands for!

Cooking for the families at RMH

Cooking for the families at RMH

Luke's cucumber salad

Luke’s cucumber salad

Hannah hard at work making meat sauce

Hannah hard at work making meat sauce

Tour of RMH to learn how we can help

Tour of RMH to learn how we can help

Taste test

Taste test

After dinner we set up to play with the residents

After dinner we set up to play with the residents

Girls Preseason Training Academy


Long Island Lutheran High School (LuHi) Main Gym

131 Brookville Road, Brookville, NY

Make it Happen during focused 75 minute training sessions using a combination of skill, drill, and play as well as strength and conditioning training each session. You will be:

⇒ introduced to new skills
⇒ training at game speed
⇒ implementing your developing skills in controlled game situations ⇒ strengthening & conditioning

You have the opportunity, the gym, and the trainers to improve your game…the commitment is up to YOU!

Session I


grades 4, 5, 6

Session II


Grades 7, 8, 9

Mondays 9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3

$160/4 sessions or $50/per session

Spots are limited and will be filled on a first come first serve basis.

Click here to register

Girls Winter Tryouts


What is the Winter Season?

The 2016/2017 winter season consists of 1 practice/week & an 8-12 game (plus playoffs) schedule.

The season runs from October-February.


Long Island Lutheran High School (LuHi) Main Gym

4th, 5th & 6th GIRLS-4:00 PM

7th & 8th GIRLS-5:30 PM

The program continues to be led by Bethany LeSueur, a widely recognized expert and leader in basketball coaching and training. The Rising Stars difference is that all of our coaches and trainers have played college basketball and coached at the high school level.

  • Bethany LeSueur
    • Georgetown-player, Long Island scoring record w/3,167 points, Nike-WBCA All-American, Street & Smith All-America, USA Today All-American, Miss New York Basketball, 2x Gatorade Player of the Year, East Meadow-former varsity head coach
  • Meghan O’Neill
    • Adelphi-player, Kellenberg-former varsity head coach & Newsday Coach of the Year
  • Suzanne Kenney
    • John’s-player, Manhasset-former varsity head coach
  • MaryBeth Kane
    • Lehigh-player, East Meadow-former varsity head coach
  • Emma O’Conner
    • Marist-player, Ireland-professional player
  • Theresa Cantwell
    • Lafayette-player, Jericho-former varsity head coach
  • Kristen Haggerty
    • Queens-player, Carey-former varsity head coach

There will be a $20 tryout fee, each player will receive a reversible practice jersey. Returning players who bring their reversible practice jersey are exempt from the fee.


For more information email us at bethany@risingstarsinc.org

Boys Fall Training Academy


Rising Stars has announced its preseason skills academy dates which caters to enhancing the development of all players ranging from the beginner to advanced.

Dan Gimpel and the Rising Stars staff will conduct intense 4 week training at Long Island Lutheran (LuHi). We welcome past and new participants to join us.  Each session will be 75 minutes long, focusing on conditioning, speed and specific individual skill sets such as shooting, footwork and ball handling.  These sessions will provide the purposeful practice techniques for all players to maximize their physical ability. Rising Stars will equip players with the tool and techniques that inspire a passion for excellence!

– Four Wednesday’s, September 14th, 21st, 28th, & October 5th.
– Location is at Long Island Lutheran HS, 131 Brookville Road, Brookville, New York in the Main Gym.
– Please note it is $160 for all four days or $50/per session

Session I Session II
6:30pm-7:45pm 8:00pm-9:15pm
Grades 3,4,5 Grades 6,7,8,9


Boys Travel Tryouts


Long Island Lutheran High School (LuHi) Main Gym
131 Brookville Road
Brookville, New York 11545

3rd & 4th GRADE – 3:30 PM
5th GRADE – 4:45 PM
6th & 7th GRADE – 6:00 PM
8th GRADE – 7:15 PM

Each year, Rising Stars teaches and develops strong travel teams to compete on the local circuit. The Rising Stars difference is that all of our coaches and trainers have either played college basketball or coached at the high school level.Come learn the fundamentals of the game and develop what it takes to become a player!

Every year, players from the Rising Stars program have gone on to play college basketball at the Division I, II, and III levels.

The biggest key for success is getting involved with the right program, and Rising Stars is it. Come be part of the Rising Stars difference!

Registration is at the door.  The fee for the tryout will be $20. This will include a reversible practice jersey. Once teams are formed we will look to start mid-October till middle of March with practice.