St. Mary’s Elementary School Hosts First Faith Basketball Clinic

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BStMaryBB_111115Ay Eileen Symmons

St. Mary’s Elementary School will be hosting its first Faith and Basketball Clinic this Friday, Nov. 13, from 5 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Boys and girls of all skill levels in grades 6, 7 and 8 from both public and private schools are welcome to participate in this unique and exciting event.

The clinic, which will include drills, scrimmages, dodgeball games and fun competition, was organized by St. Mary’s middle school social studies teacher Michael Griffin, a native of Wantagh who attended Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, Molloy College in Rockville Centre and is in his third year teaching at St. Mary’s Elementary School. Griffin’s twin brother, Thomas, is a third-year seminarian studying for the priesthood at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie.

Growing up, all the Griffin brothers ever did was play basketball together, noted Griffin. The idea for this clinic, he explained, came from them wanting to use the sport they loved to play as kids to reach out together to students in a way where they could have fun and learn about faith at the same time.

In addition to enjoying two days of high-energy athletics led by both male and female coaches, student participants will attend Eucharistic Adoration on Friday night with Father Sean Magaldi, a recently ordained priest serving at St. Patrick’s Church in Smithtown and Catholic chaplain at Stony Brook University. Father Magaldi’s mother, Deborah, teaches fifth grade at St. Mary’s Elementary School. Mass will also be celebrated at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, followed by more fun on the basketball court. Visitors to the clinic will talk about their love of sports and their faith.

“This clinic will challenge the students physically through sports, but also challenge them mentally and spiritually in how they can make a difference in the world,” explained Griffin. “The theme of the clinic comes from the first chapter of John’s Gospel, in which Jesus asks his future disciples, ‘What are you looking for?’” Griffin hopes that interacting with the young clinic volunteers on and off the court as well as talking with them about their love of sports and faith will help the middle school students become aware of the bigger world around them and allow them to spend quality time interacting with peers and mentors in a faith-based environment.

The cost is $50 for both days, which includes dinner on Friday, lunch on Saturday, drinks, snacks, music and a St. Mary’s Faith and Basketball Clinic T-shirt.

Payment for St. Mary’s Faith and Basketball Clinic can be made by cash or check (payable to St. Mary’s Elementary School) or register online by visiting www.stmary11030.org or the St. Mary’s Elementary School Facebook page. For more information, please contact Griffin at mgriffin5609@stmary11030.org.

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