Anthony Whittaker is Program Director of our local GoodGuides program in Astoria. Anthony coaches at-risk high school boys in basketball, and had a particularly successful run this past summer. Here’s Anthony’s story in his own words.
“ I coach HS Boys during the spring and summer in various basketball tournaments throughout the East Coast. On the weekend of August 16, I took my team to King of Prussia in Pennsylvania to participate in an Amateur Athletic Union basketball camp, clinic, and competitive tournament that was hosted by the Keystone Blazers of King of Prussia.
We suffered a few setbacks before we hit the road due to losing 3 of our key players to either personal reasons or them having to leave for their first year of college. In spite of that, we decided to still attend the event. While in King of Prussia my players participated in various skills competitions, team building activities, and also participated in a series of competitive games with me as their coach.
We usually travel with 10 players, but this time we only had 7, so our expectations were not high. But these 7 young men, Shakqueel Waldron, Demetrius Danials, Ahmad Alston, Marcus Wilson, Isaiah Tucker, Jordan Smart and Cheik Sy played a series of 3 games, winning 2 of the 3 and qualifying for the playoffs.
The young men played a superlative game, and continued to win throughout the series. In the end, and with their confidence flying high they dominated a West Philadelphia AAU team sustaining the lead throughout and winning the game by 15 points, securing their first championship after playing together for 4 years! It also happened to be my first championship as a coach in 7 years. The accomplishment was very special to the guys but even more special to me as the guys were under manned throughout this endeavor and constantly found a way to overcome adversity to win games that under any other circumstance we would have lost! “
Anthony went on to say that “ All 7 of these young men are mentees in our GoodGuides Mentoring Program and are mentored by some of our volunteers during the year, which makes it even more special to me. The name of the team is Team Noah/GoodGuides and the guys range between the ages of 16-18 and are from either Queens or Brooklyn NY. “
Shakqueel Waldron will be attending Nassau Community College in the fall as a student athlete, Isaiah Tucker will be attending Delaware State University in the fall as a student athlete, Ahmad Alston is currently attending East Mecklenburg HS in North Carolina, Jordan Smart is currently attending Pace High School in Harlem NY, Demetrius Danials is currently attending Long Island City High School in Queens NY, Cheik Sy is currently attending Aviation HS in Queens NY and Marcus Wilson graduated this year and is undecided what career path he will take come the fall.
“I am very proud of all of these young men as they are all on their way to make a positive contribution to society. My new nick name for this team is THE MAGNIFICANT 7!”
Congratulations Coach Anthony and the young men of the Goodwill Guides Mentoring Program!
Goodwill GoodGuides is a national mentoring program for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who are at risk for making harmful choices such as dropping out of school or joining a gang. These youth may also be at risk for delinquency.
The GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program provides tools and resources to help teens avoid school failure and juvenile delinquency, while learning ways to cope with family violence and other challenges. GoodGuides also helps young people develop and explore career plans and skills, and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training, and productive work.