The Fathers and Men of Professional Basketball Players visit Queens

by Sterling Ivey

On Father’s Day, several Queens families were treated to a gift from the organization “Fathers and Men of Professional Basketball Players. At that time five fathers from the group descended upon the Renaissance Middle School (IS 192) in St. Albans.

With the help of the Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, the founder of Strategic Destiny as moderator and Eric Hicks of Game Over, Inc. assisting as skills instructor, the fathers presented “Raising Strong Sons, a Pre-Father’s Day Discussion” to about 75 students, parents and community members. Led by the group’s president, Charles Paul, father of now Houston Rocket guard Chris Paul, the members gave local fathers insight into how they were able to raise sons that excelled not only on the court, but off it as well.

Also on hand from the group were Lance Stephenson Sr., whose son Lance Jr. grew up in Coney Island and attended Abraham Lincoln High School and now is a member of the Indiana Pacers, Marvin Williams Sr., father of Charlotte Hornet’s Marvin Jr.; Elfrid Payton Sr., father of Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Jr.; and Anthony Randolph Sr., father of Anthony Jr., playing overseas in Spain for Real Madrid. The panel also included WBLS DJ and

Community Affairs Director Dr. Bob Lee, friend of the school and the fathers and founder of the not-for-profit group “Make The Grade, Inc.”

The other father present was neighborhood resident Rod Ivey, father of former OKC guard and current OKC coach Royal Ivey who attended Renaissance Middle School and Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens. Royal’s father along with Rev. Wyatt, principal Harriett Diaz and parent coordinator Gertrude Nathaniel worked together to make the event a success. Community activist and model Bianca Golden contributed as host of the evening and school administrator, Mr. Hudson worked as technical advisor.

The evening began with a skills session that gave the middle-schoolers in attendance a chance to work with coaches from Game Over, Inc. Eventually, parents were brought out as well to participate in a shooting contest. Events then traveled to the school’s cafeteria, where two “Every Day Dad” NBA Players Association films were shown as well as ESPN 30 for 30 film “Royal in Hollis” which was shot at the school last year. The panel discussion was then led by Rev. Wyatt where members of the group spoke about how they raised their professional athlete sons.

The community applauded the event and principal Diaz noted, “We truly believe in these gentlemen and what they gave us this evening because it’s about community, and we’re a community school. If you don’t open your door to the community, then nobody knows you have a great