"Over the years we have been fortunate to have a number of our players come from Rising Stars programs. Jason Williams is a perfect example of what this program stands for and what it does for kids. Rising Stars helps kids deal with peer pressure. Rising Stars provides a well- rounded background that helps children develop the strength and the ability to make the right decisions in life at a time when the wrong decisions can impact their lives. Congratulations on a great program and for what you do for kids."

-Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach, Duke University Men's Basketball Team


"I have worked with Rising Stars for over 20 years and have helped to develop it into a model that really works in guiding all children through the many obstacles they will face on their journey into adulthood. I strongly believe that "It takes a village to raise a child", and I continue to work with Rising Stars to help every village make a difference in how every child will grow and develop into an adult."

-Tyrone Green, Director, For The Good of the Neighborhood

Governor State of NY

"Whereas, the Empire State acknowledges exceptional organizations, such as Rising Stars, which strive to make a meaningful difference in our society by changing the course of young lives and therefore has a visible impact on basic human and social development through its emphasis of the benefits of sports visible in the positive effects they have on a young person's life, especially by promoting a sound an healthy lifestyle; and

Whereas, for years, community-based organizations have provided a place for today's youth to gain a sense of confidence and unity by participating in sports programs and, more importantly, by working together in the spirit of cooperation to achieve meaningful goals; and

Whereas, all of the citizens of the Empire State join with the communities of the Greater New York/Metropolitan region in recognizing the valuable role that Rising Stars plays in young lives by helping them develop into strong leaders for tomorrow, as we endow the legacy of this great nation to future generations; and

Whereas, this renowned program remains a cornerstone of success for many young lives and a symbol of the potential held by many youth of diverse backgrounds who direct their talent and energy for constructive purposes, as part of a team, and realize their own ability to make a difference in their community; and

Whereas, in continuing a wonderful tradition established in 1996, we pause to acknowledge the dedicated people whose vision and commitment are the foundation of this proud resource and respected institution that continues to improve the quality of life for many youth in communities through the Metropolitan region;and

Whereas, the presence of exceptional initiatives that put the needs of our youth first, that focus on good mentorship, and that work to develop the total well-being of youth is vital to the Empire State, and equally important are those who come forward to serve as beacons of light to those young people who take that important step to better themselves, and it is fitting that all New Yorkers join to recognize and commend the laudable efforts of the participants and many dedicated persons to contribute to the Rising Stars program;

Now, Therefore, I, George E. Pataki, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby cite RISING STARS and offer warm congratulations to all of its board members and affiliates who continue to advance this wonderful initiative that serves our youth so well."

-George E. Pataki, former Governor of New York State


"I have the greatest respect for what Rising Stars represents and how it continues to help young people throughout their lives. Rising Stars provides young men and women with a great experience to help in their growth and development into adulthood. The activities Rising Stars promotes create a balance between being a player, a student, and a well-rounded individual. It's a pleasure for me to speak about this program and an honor to have my kids enrolled.

-Billy Donovan, Head Coach, Florida Gators Basketball Team


"I can define Rising Stars in one simple word, "FUN!" Kids enjoy being a part of Rising Stars, and they want to stay involved in its programs. That's a very important thing to say at a time when kids are dropping out of to many programs. I enjoyed my stay in Rising Stars, and I am sure that any other kid would feel the same.

-Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls, 2006-2007 National Champion (MVP 2006), 2x NBA All Star and NBA Defensive Player of the Year 2014

George W. Bush

"I send greetings to the dedicated staff, and volunteers of the Rising Stars Youth Foundation.

Athletic competition provides an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate skill, endurance, and determination. Through sports such as basketball, young people learn to set high goals and work hard to achieve them. They also learn the discipline of playing by the rules and how to accept victory and defeat with grace. These important lessons help build character and the values necessary to succeed in life.

I commend your dedication to excellence, and I applaud Rising Stars for its commitment to the future of our children.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for your continued success."

-George W. Bush, former President of the United States

Jay Williams

“The Rising Stars Foundation is the best vehicle I know for children to learn the values and life skills they need throughout their formative years. I am proud to support their good works, and to serve as the national ambassador for this outstanding organization.”

-Jay Williams, ESPN and Former Rising Star