POUGHKEEPSIE – Coach Brian Laffin, City of Poughkeepsie’s Superintendent of Parks & Recreation, has started a program to refresh basketball skills for children that have been isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic and is trying to collect 300 basketballs to help the program.
“Due to the pandemic there are not any leagues and social distancing is a must. We are asking our basketball coaching community to assist by conducting small group instruction for our young players,” said Laffin who coached Poughkeepsie high school basketball from 2000-2016, before heading to Millbrook Prep.
The initiative is being assisted by the SNUG program of Family Services. SNUG Supervisor Curtiz “Luck” Simpson is excited about the program and said that SNUG representatives will be helping to supervise the social-distancing guidelines established by Coach Laffin as well as helping the kids with the drills. “I believe that if this is done well it can change how we run Summer League basketball, started by Skip Lee, and we can eventually turn Tubman Park into an outside training facility.” Simpson also noted that the program may help revitalize the park by drawing attention to it. “I wanted this event to bring attention to Tubman park so maybe we can also get a swing set, a sliding board something to get the kids to come out to the park more.
Laffin said they are seeking to have 300 basketballs available for distribution on August 3rd so that kids can “go play ball without sharing basketballs.”
People can call 451-4100 to set up a pick-up or drop off of basketballs. I can be emailed at [email protected] as well. Individuals can also drop off or ship the basketballs to The City of Poughkeepsie DPW office at 26 Howard Street in Poughkeepsie. Donors are asked to address the donations to “Coach Brian Laffin”.
NYS Senator Sue Serino called the program “An exciting way to get kids out in the fresh air after such a tumultuous year. My staff and I are willing to help by setting up a collection point at my office for people that want to donate but can’t make it to the city.”
Those interested in dropping off new or used basketballs at Senator Serino’s office can do so Monday through Friday between 9 AM and 5 PM at:
NYS Senator Sue Serino
4254 Albany Post Road (Route 9)
Hyde Park, NY 12538