(UNIONDALE, N.Y.) - Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan M. Abrahams (D - Freeport) and Suffolk County Legislature Minority Leader Jason Richberg (D - Wyandanch) celebrated the region’s top hardwood talent by hosting the inaugural “Best of Long Island” basketball tournament at the Nassau County Police Department’s David S. Mack Center for Training and Intelligence in Uniondale on Sunday, Aug. 21.
It was an exciting back-and-forth contest that went the distance - and then some. After tying at 57 in regulation, Bay Shore High School, which emerged as the winners from Suffolk’s Bright Lights summer league, overcame a tenacious challenge from Rising Stars On the Ball from Nassau County’s Coes Neck Classic League to win 69-65 in overtime. MVP Mike Samuda from Bay Shore High School scored 30 points in Suffolk’s victory.
“The inaugural ‘Best of Long Island’ championship game truly lived up to its name,” Nassau Minority Leader Abrahams said. “Congratulations to Suffolk’s Bright Lights for capturing the crown in a thrilling game that won’t soon be forgotten. It was a pleasure working with Minority Leader Richberg and all of the coaches and athletes to host this competition - one that I hope will become a tradition.”
“Thank you to everyone who came out for the ‘Best of Long Island’ Basketball Tournament hosted by Minority Leader and myself,” said Suffolk Minority Leader Richberg. “It was a hard-fought game that went to overtime with the team representing Suffolk County coming out on top. Congratulations to all of the participants!”
Coaches for the rival teams said the event served as a fitting culmination for their respective summer leagues.
“This was a great event, and I hope this is the first of many ‘Best of Long Island’ tournaments in the years to come,” Baldwin High School Coach Darius Burton, who directed Coes Neck along with Fred Lopez, said. “I want to thank Legislator Abrahams and everyone who made it possible to have this game at the police academy.”
“It was a great experience for both of those teams,” said Devine Smith, who served as Commissioner of Bright Lights along with Tyrone Tillman. “I think we did a great job of taking the separate entities we had and bringing them together to determine an overall champion.”
PHOTO CREDITS - Office of Nassau County Legislator Kevan M. Abrahams