POUGHKEEPSIE – Christopher “Coach Chris” McLaurin’s legacy of mentoring children was recognized at his home court on Sunday. The basketball court on Weed Street was dedicated in his name in front of dozens of family, friends, and former players.
Known everywhere as “Coach Chris,” McLaurin spent years coaching players at Poughkeepsie and FD Roosevelt High Schools and also served as a community mentor. He lived with his wife and family across the street from the court dedicated to him. According to Brian Laffin, former Poughkeepsie High School varsity basketball coach, McLaurin was his assistant for years. Laffin still teaches in Poughkeepsie but coaches at Millbrook High School. He also serves as the superintendent of Parks and Recreation for the City of Poughkeepsie and said naming the court for McLaurin was well-deserved.
“Coach Chris was one of the most dedicated community members we had when it came to working with the kids, mentoring the kids, and coaching the kids.” Laffin recalled McLaurin’s dedication. “He spent so much time at this court working with the kids, and it paid dividends for everyone.”
Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, a big supporter of the Poughkeepsie High School Pioneers basketball team echoed Laffin’s sentiments. “No matter when you drove past this court, you would see Coach Chriss out here working with the kids. His dedication to the sport and the community were incredible.” He unveiled a temporary plaque honoring McLaurin, noting that it will be replaced with a permanent one as soon as the weather permits. He also noted that, in conjunction he and Councilwoman Yvonne Flowers have declared March 13, 2022 to be “Coach Chris McLaurin Day” in the City of Poughkeepsie.
Poughkeepsie City School District Board of Education President Felicia Watson also touted the coach’s dedication and commitment to the city’s youth, noting that he worked for years as a Crisis Intervention Specialist in the school district.