February 26, 2009
2008-09 men’s basketball season, more than 2,400 middle school
students and their guardians have attended St. John’s basketball
games as part of the National Grid Foundation’s “Hoops for the
Stars” program. On Tuesday, Feb. 24, when the St. John’s men’s
basketball team took on Syracuse, both universities recognized 20
outstanding middle school students through the Hoops for the Stars
St. John’s Athletics and the National Grid Foundation are
celebrating their third year of the “Hoops for the Stars” program.
The program uses positive reinforcement and recognition of success
through awards tied to academic performance. The program is meant
to create opportunities for solutions to educational issues within
the Queens and Brooklyn, N.Y., areas.
“We are again most proud to be involved in such a meaningful
program,” said Chris Monasch, St. John’s Director of Athletics. “As
a Catholic, Vincentian institution in the New York area, St. John's
is happy to provide this opportunity to reward young students in
our community who have achieved so much.”
Through the National Grid Foundation’s commitment of $20,000, St.
John’s has donated 2,450 tickets for men’s basketball games at
Madison Square Garden and Carnesecca Arena for the 2008-09 season.
For the third year of the program, the criterion has once again
focused on academic achievement.
This year, a new component of the program was added that is
designed to motivate at-risk students by placing particular
emphasis on rewarding behavioral improvements – those that
ultimately impact academic performance. The new focus criteria
include: appreciable increase in attendance, dramatic decrease in
negative behavior, significant contribution to the community -- all
of which have been proven to encourage academic
Another addition to the Hoops for the Stars program this year will
be in the spring, when members of the St. John’s men’s basketball
team will visit the highest performing school. The student-athletes
will speak about motivation and inspiration, the need and
importance of study and will emphasize the benefits of staying in
“We are proud to once again partner with St. John’s in delivering a
program that demonstrates our commitment to education and to the
communities we serve,” said National Grid Foundation Executive
Director, Robert G. Keller.
About National Grid Foundation
The National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of
life in areas where National Grid provides services. The
Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for
solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its
objective is based on the principle that giving people the tolls to
build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of
individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in
December of 1999, the Foundation has provided nearly $15 million in
grants to hundreds of organizations.