Rising Stars. Coaching Teams. Enriching Lives.

Rising Stars mission is to promote education and reinforce values. We use the power of teams as a conduit to teach life skills and provide academic and athletic support to the children in our community.


Rising Stars utilizes basketball to enroll children, beginning in grade 4, into positive programs that reinforce values and promote education.

We use the power of teams to Coach, Teach and Inspire children to reach their full potential. Our teams introduce and reinforce important values and lessons in life that young men and women will need to make correct decisions throughout their formative years.

We enable all young people, especially those that need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.

We provide youth with opportunities To Play, To Learn, and To Grow.

Rising Stars' Goals

  • To provide a safe place for children to Play, Learn and Grow.
  • To offer life-enhancing sports programs that build character
  • To develop physical and mental wellness in youth
  • To develop a child that is more confident, competent and caring
  • To inspire our youth to graduate HS and matriculate to college

Rising Stars Values

Every Rising Stars developmental program is values-based and educationally centered.

Rising Stars foundation for success is rooted in the following key values: Teamwork, Respect, Diversity, Responsibility, Effort, Integrity, and Fun.

The Rising Stars Difference: Our goals are higher than 10 feet

Academic Excellence - Community Service - Matriculate To College

Rising Stars' commitment to our children is lifelong and our goals are not restricted to winning a game or a tournament. We promote positive habits and behavior that apply on the court, in school, at home, and on the street.

During that time we seek to develop positive values, foster a commitment to community service, and deepen their motivation to learn.

We encourage family participation. We build stronger bonds by spending time together within the framework of our program. We use basketball as a platform to encourage a deeper appreciation of service to others. Rising Stars provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. They understand that the Rising Stars family cares about them and what happens to them regardless of the outcome of a game or a practice.

We guide and track each child in our programs from grade 4 throughout HS and work to see every High School senior go on to college. We then assist every Rising Stars college graduate find internships and jobs. We also openly welcome back graduates as Rising Stars volunteers and coaches.

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Paul Savramis With Michael Jordan

The concept of Rising Stars started in 1990 when Mr. Paul Savramis started to operate summer outreach basketball clinics and camps at Queens Borough Community College and Bay Shore High School in Bayside, New York. The mission of the program was to provide an after school safe haven basketball and self help program for at risk youth.

Private Citizens, churches, community leaders, educators and parents worked collectively to raise funds for the program. People from various walks of life volunteered their time to coach, teach, tutor and mentor involved youth, Rising Stars evolved into a necessary, full-year program, working with students in various communities in the tri-state area.

In 1996, Rising Stars became a 501(C)(3) Foundation. After school basketball/educational programs, such as the Good of the Neighborhood and travelling basketball teams were created and the foundation was underway. Rising Stars never had its own facility. Mr. Savramis worked with Boards of Educations, YMCAs, churches and other private/public organizations who were willing to rent Rising Stars their facilities to conduct the program in various communities in the New York area.

The demand for Rising Stars programs eventually became greater than the funds available to sustain it at the level needed to provide youth with all the positive aspects and dynamics the program was designed to provide. As a result, Mr. Savramis felt it necessary to down-size the program and begin to rebuild.

Mr. Dan Gimpel, a graduate of Rising Stars, worked closely with Mr. Savramis to accomplish this goal. In 2009, Mr. Jason (Jay) Williams, former Duke University Basketball star and Chicago Bulls player, and his mother, Althea, joined Mr. Savramis and Mr. Gimpel to help rebuild the organizations infrastructure, assist in fund raising, enhance the educational/basketball component of the programming and to build a strong Board of Directors.

Together, we have made great accomplishments. Rising Stars is considered one of the elite educationally-centered youth basketball programs in the country. Why? Because Rising Stars Works!

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Executive Staff and Directors

Mr. Jason Williams CEO, ESPN Analyst, Duke Alumnus 2002,
Twice National Collegiate Player of The Year
Mrs. Althea Williams Development
Mr. Dan S. Gimpel Executive Director
Mr. Paul Savramis President
Ms. Kate Gamble Secretary
Mr. Tom Hughes Director of Operations
Mrs. Bethany LeSueur Girls Director

Advisory Board

Mr. Stuart Cohen CEO, Metro Franchising Commissary
Mr. Kevin J. Conway Vice Chair Student Sponsors Program
Mr. Joe Feshbach Joe Feshbach Partners LLC
Mr. John B. Hess CEO, Hess Corporation
Mr. Matthew Maguire ICAP Equity Derivatives Broker
Mr. George Olvaney First Brokers Securities
Mr. Ronen Zohar CEO, Sabra LLC

Honorary Board

Mr. Bill Bradley New Jersey Senator
Mr. George Pataki Former New York Governor

Board of Directors

Mr. Tim Thornton Senior Vice President, Municipal Sales Bancorp
Mr. Edward Parry Director of LuHi Summer Programs
Mr. Harvey Sanders Under Armour Board of Directors
Mr. Mark Rosen Managing Director, Dakota LLC
Mr. David Buchbinder President Alkit Imaging
Stephanie Deutsch Management Consultant
Michael Punkett President, Instinet Group Inc.
Jim Walsh President, Sugar Foods
Paula Maturo CPA

Coaching Staff

Mr. Chris Nyberg Coach
Mr. Brian Boyle Coach
Mr. Tom Hughes Coach
Mr. Joeseph Virgilio Coach
Mr. John Cantwell Coach
Ms. Mary-Beth Kane Coach
Mr. Jim Heggmann Coach
Mr. Nikko Callender Coach
Mr. Brandon Wilson Coach
Ms. Megan Moran Coach
Mr. Matt Colocino Coach
Mr. Derek Klein Coach
Mr. Jesse Winter Coach
Mr. Harrison Hefele Coach

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Rising Stars partners provide a foundation from which we can all work and grow from more effectively. Finding and working with select like minded youth organizations has been essential to our outreach as well as our core programming. Our partners allow us to enter new pathways and allow our model to become a part of their own. Our partnership with the NY Knicks is a perfect example. We help to promote the NBA and the Knicks in the community and then use professional basketball to help us reach more kids in the community. The following are just a few of the strategic partnerships that have helped us grow over the years.

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George W. Bush

"I send greetings to the dedicated staff, and volunteers of the Rising Stars Youth Foundation.

Athletic competition provides an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate skill, endurance, and determination. Through sports such as basketball, young people learn to set high goals and work hard to achieve them. They also learn the discipline of playing by the rules and how to accept victory and defeat with grace. These important lessons help build character and the values necessary to succeed in life.

I commend your dedication to excellence, and I applaud Rising Stars for its commitment to the future of our children.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for your continued success."

-George W. Bush, former President of the United States

George E. Pataki

"Whereas, the Empire State acknowledges exceptional organizations, such as Rising Stars, which strive to make a meaningful difference in our society by changing the course of young lives and therefore has a visible impact on basic human and social development through its emphasis of the benefits of sports visible in the positive effects they have on a young person's life, especially by promoting a sound an healthy lifestyle; and

Whereas, for years, community-based organizations have provided a place for today's youth to gain a sense of confidence and unity by participating in sports programs and, more importantly, by working together in the spirit of cooperation to achieve meaningful goals; and

Whereas, all of the citizens of the Empire State join with the communities of the Greater New York/Metropolitan region in recognizing the valuable role that Rising Stars plays in young lives by helping them develop into strong leaders for tomorrow, as we endow the legacy of this great nation to future generations; and

Whereas, this renowned program remains a cornerstone of success for many young lives and a symbol of the potential held by many youth of diverse backgrounds who direct their talent and energy for constructive purposes, as part of a team, and realize their own ability to make a difference in their community; and

Whereas, in continuing a wonderful tradition established in 1996, we pause to acknowledge the dedicated people whose vision and commitment are the foundation of this proud resource and respected institution that continues to improve the quality of life for many youth in communities through the Metropolitan region;and

Whereas, the presence of exceptional initiatives that put the needs of our youth first, that focus on good mentorship, and that work to develop the total well-being of youth is vital to the Empire State, and equally important are those who come forward to serve as beacons of light to those young people who take that important step to better themselves, and it is fitting that all New Yorkers join to recognize and commend the laudable efforts of the participants and many dedicated persons to contribute to the Rising Stars program;

Now, Therefore, I, George E. Pataki, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby cite


and offer warm congratulations to all of its board members and affiliates who continue to advance this wonderful initiative that serves our youth so well."

-George E. Pataki, former Governor of New York State

Greater Alabama Boy Scouts

"I am writing in reference for, and in testimony of, the Rising Stars Youth Foundation. Rising Stars came to the Boy Scouts in Greater Alabama Boy Scouts of America, Birmingham, Alabama by way of the highest recommendation from an executive board member of the Scouts.

Our need was to partner with a national program to help recruit and keep inner-city youth in Scouting. The plan was to utilize basketball clinics, to introduce youth to the Scouting program. Youth can participate in the free clinics as long as they are enrolled in the scouting program, earn advancement and attend Scout meetings. The Rising Stars mission statement is parallel with Scouting's core: Character Education, Community Service and Physical Fitness. Rising Stars reputation was that of being the finest instructional clinic of its kind. They lived up to that reputation and exceeded every expectation we had.

The Rising Stars community initiate clinic outreach series helped us meet our objectives. Parents, community leaders and most importantly of all the children involved had nothing but the highest praise for the Rising Stars Program.

One e-mail stands out,"My child came away with a glow from attending the Rising Stars program. He went to sleep in their shirt, and he woke up still talking about how much he enjoyed himself. When can we see another day like that one here?"

We notified our National Multicultural Division on our successes after the first clinic and have committed to host two more clinics in 2011. We are also looking at a national program that will take the Rising Stars model to Boy Scout chapters across the country and around the world.

I cannot say enough about the Rising Stars, only that they are everything they say and much more. Children leave elated and have responded in a positive way to the message. Programs that provide character education, community service and physical fitness, are hard to find and should be considered an invaluable asset for every community"

-Derrick Russaw, Greater Alabama Council, Boy Scouts of America

Coach Krzyewski

"Over the years we have been fortunate to have a number of our players come from Rising Stars programs. Jason Williams is a perfect example of what this program stands for and what it does for kids. Rising Stars helps kids deal with peer pressure. Rising Stars provides a well- rounded background that helps children develop the strength and the ability to make the right decisions in life at a time when the wrong decisions can impact their lives. Congratulations on a great program and for what you do for kids."

-Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach, Duke University Men's Basketball Team


Dear Dan, Paul, Jay and Rising Star Friends

Many Thanks for your growing partnership with our educational ministry here at Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School. Our organizations share similar goals in raising young people to be (in the words of our Vision Statement) "compassionate, educated leaders for the future".

All of us at LuHi have been impressed by the quality of Rising Stars' basketball program. It has been a pleasure to work with you during our Summer Programs and at various clinics. Your player development programs are always well-run and you leave our facilities in excellent order. We also appreciate the scholarship help you have provided for some of our students.

It is obvious that Rising Stars is about more than basketball. Like LuHi, you demonstrate an interest in each of your student-athletes:in the classroom; at home; on the court; everywhere!

Best wishes and God's blessings on your important work. We Look forward to working together in the future"

-Dr. David Hahn, Head of School, LuHi

Holy Cross

Dear Dan,

On behalf of Holy Cross High School, we would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for your generous contribution of 2,000.00 for tuition assistance which has been awarded to Evan Conti, Class of 2011.

With these difficult economic times, your assistance is more important than ever, and as tuition continues to climb, the family of this young man, no doubt, will be very grateful for your support.

This is, nonetheless, an exciting time for Holy Cross as many positive things continue to happen here. The Science Research Program is entering its fifth year, our new Creative Writing Workshop will begin its second year, and we continue to offer programs and activities that range from the Holy Cross Service Program and Campus Ministry to Yearbook.

Thank you again for your outstanding generosity!

-Joseph S. Fusco, Ph.D. and William G. Poppe Jr. Chair, Institutional Advancement Committee

Althea Williams

"The Rising Stars Foundation is one-of-a-kind. Its mission is based upon a sound educational philosophy that promotes the development of critical thinking and life skills as well as teaching the meaning of accountability, responsibility and integrity. Charitable contributions to Rising Stars assist the foundation in developing programs that address the academic needs of children and enhance their athletic ability and talent. Rising Stars serves families and communities with diverse backgrounds and varied socioeconomic levels. I cannot say enough about Rising Stars! I am proud to be a part of this outstanding organization."

-Althea Williams, mother of Jason Williams

Billy Donovan

"I have the greatest respect for what Rising Stars represents and how it continues to help young people throughout their lives. Rising Stars provides young men and women with a great experience to help in their growth and development into adulthood. The activities Rising Stars promotes create a balance between being a player, a student, and a well-rounded individual. It's a pleasure for me to speak about this program and an honor to have my kids enrolled.

-Billy Donovan, Head Coach, Florida Gators Basketball Team

Tyrone Green
Tyrone Green

"I have worked with Rising Stars for over 20 years and have helped to develop it into a model that really works in guiding all children through the many obstacles they will face on their journey into adulthood. I strongly believe that "It takes a village to raise a child", and I continue to work with Rising Stars to help every village make a difference in how every child will grow and develop into an adult."

-Tyrone Green, Director, For The Good of the Neighborhood

Joakim Noah

"I can define Rising Stars in one simple word, "FUN !". Kids enjoy being a part of Rising Stars, and they want to stay involved in its programs. That's a very important thing to say at a time when kids are dropping out of to many programs. I enjoyed my stay in Rising Stars, and I am sure that any other kid would feel the same.

-Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls, 2006-2007 National Champion (MVP 2006)

David Ryan

"I was very fortunate to have Rising Stars as part of my life growing up. Rising Stars provided me with a vehicle that steered me away from a great deal of the troubles that I saw others succumb to that did not have a program like this in their lives. It helped me make the right decisions throughout grade school, high school and college. It has made a great difference in helping me to develop into the man I am today. Rising Stars continues to be a part of my life and I look forward to helping kids develop in life as I was helped.

-David Ryan, Former Rising Stars Whiz Kid, Captain of Siena Basketball and current EuroPro

"Rising Stars gave me a chance to shine as a person and not just as a player. It helped me to reach my goal of attending Columbia University and to excel, both on and off the court. I can easily say that Rising Stars has been a significant part of my life growing up and that it continues to be. It has been my privilege to return each year and volunteer my time helping out kids as Rising Stars helped me. It is a program that can definitely make a difference for any kid. It did for me.

-Matt Preston, Captain, Columbia University Basketball Team, EuroPro

Harvey Sanders

"I believe that the merits of a program begin with the quality and dedication of the people behind it. Over the years I have had the pleasure of getting to know Rising Stars from the inside out. Program Director Danny Gimpel's work ethic, commitment to our youth, and moral fortitude make the program effective. Danny and the Rising Stars staff continue to teach boys the essential lessons important, not only in basketball, but in life. Those benefits are the ones that I see helping boys grow into men. I am proud to be a supporter of the Rising Stars program."

-Harvey Sanders, Former CEO, Nautica

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