South Shore’s popular and hugely successful Open Season basketball program is becoming part of the Rising Stars family. Rising Stars founder Paul Savramis opens up about Open Season and similar grassroots programs joining Rising Stars in the following interview excerpt.
Q: Everyone is talking about this new merger and your recent outreach efforts – how did it all come about?
Paul Savramis: We had been looking for new areas in which there was a need for what we offer to expand and the Great South Bay was a perfect target area. Recent gang violence and enrollment of children into gangs at the elementary level had community leaders up in arms and resulted in a invitation for us to expand our team and academic support programs there,
Once we established that, the Open Season teams came on our radar.
We knew Open Season was a program that dealt with very young players and that their coaches and managers had been approached numerous times but they had rejected every offer. Finally, we decided it was worth a shot to see what it was all about and find out why. As it turned out, our mission and values aligned really well with what they (Open Season) were looking for the kids off the court and things just fell into place.
Q: What does this new partnership mean for current Open Season players?
Paul Savramis: It’s going to be very exciting for the Open Season teams as Rising Stars brings years of experience, contacts with other organizations, relationships with professional basketball players, and, most importantly, an educational aspect. Rising Stars has always placed student athletes’ education first and foremost. The best thing they liked is that Rising Stars is not looking to take away or change any of the many positive things they have accomplished.
All we will look to do is add.We will provide scholarships and other academic services.