As part of NY1’s coverage of Black History Month, photojournalist Kristi Lee Neuberger shared the story about how one Manhattan organization uses basketball as the driving force toward success for many young people.
Steven Cruz, former member of Riverside Hawks: “Basketball for me was something given. I grew up in uptown Washington Heights where Dykeman basketball is one of the most well known parks in the neighborhood. And I literally lived across the street from it. I just woke up, went right across the street and there were all my friends playing basketball.”
Namoi Luka, current Riverside Hawks member: “Going into high school, I didn’t even want to think about college. All my friends were applying to colleges already and I was still over here like, ‘How do you guys know what colleges you wanna go to?’”
Tony Hargraves, Riverside Hawks program director: “I’m the first graduate in my family to go to a college. I went to Iona College.”
Dr. Emily Anderson, member of the Board of Directors for Riverside Hawks: “For the first half of the lifespan of Riverside Hawks, that was the goal; to really produce these high-level athletes for the NBA.”