Chinatown, NY - On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, the Steve Nash Foundation hosted their fourth Annual "Showdown in Chinatown" 8 v 8 soccer match at the Sarah D. Roosevelt Park located at Chrystie St. & Staton St.
Presented by Ortsbo.com, this year's Showdown in Chinatown event featured an All-Star roster that raised funds for The Steve Nash Foundation and its work with underserved children. In addition, monies raised from this fundraiser will benefit early education work with Educare.
Players from the both soccer and the NBA in the match included Demba Ba (Newcastle United), Giuseppe Rossi (Villareal CF), Leandro Barbosa (Phoenix Suns), Jared Dudley (Phoenix Suns), Marcin Gortat (Phoenix Suns), Grant Hill (Phoenix Suns), Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Claudio Reyna (Retired-US Soccer) and Simone Sandri (NBA TV Analyst).
While many in the media were taking photos and interviewing Wednesday's participants, I noticed a group of adolescents wearing their South Bronx United Soccer Club jerseys. As the herd of media rushed to one side, I went and briefly spoke with South Bronx United Soccer Club's Executive Director Andrew So.
I had met Andrew's staff of volunteers and have remained in contact with some of them since Women's World Cup Legend Brianna Scurry conducted her clinic at the Macombs Dam Park. I thought it was fantastic that they had the opportunity to watch the game inside while a sea of fans was watching from the outside of the four-sided chain link fence.
While the score is important to follow, I'm also interested in the impact this beautiful game has locally and globally in our communities. One thing I've learned as a sports fan and now a sportswriter is that players come and go, but global issues and dreams remain.
In addition to following the game, I make it a point to look behind stats and scores. Wednesday's event served as a reminder why I love this beautiful game.
Based in the Bronx, N.Y., South Bronx United Soccer Club’s mission is to use soccer as a vehicle for social change while helping youth build character, teamwork and leadership skills. South Bronx United soccer programs promote educational achievement, health and wellness and character development, while also training youth to develop soccer and athletic skills appropriate to their ages, abilities and interests.
For the summer, South Bronx United has a "Summer Soccer Scholars" program where they will be serving over 60 South Bronx middle and high school youth. By combining fitness and soccer training, these participants will also be part of an educational component which will enhance their academic achievements in the future.
This program is a five-day program from July 18th - August 11th, Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Held at the Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports located at 730 Concourse Village West in the Bronx, these participants are witnessing that there are volunteers who are willing to invest their time and make a commitment towards their future.
From what I've observed from South Bronx United, they have a passionate staff of volunteers who are also realistic in running their nonprofit and creating outcomes which are achievable for their participants. Having worked in the nonprofit sector for many years, I can easily recognize an excellent nonprofit, and South Bronx United is one of them.
While they've been able to hold their own, they still need our help. While I'm unable to commit the time to coach, I've agreed to cover any event they have under the condition that I'm given enough notice.
Oh yeah, Steve Nash's team defeated Claudio Reyna's team 15-10.
Cesar Diaz covers soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com ; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at email@example.com and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.