New this year, King of Kings will introduce Reading & Mindfulness for Utica students entering the fifth and sixth grade.
With the help of Sherri Spina, who is a teacher within the Central Valley Academy school district as well as a yoga instructor, the objective is for children to maintain or enhance their reading level while also working on techniques to reduce stress and increase attention during the twice a week, five-week summer course.
The program will take in 15-20 students. High school honor society level students will be tutors, reading with the children for a half hour before participating in yoga and attending some pro-am basketball action.
Doneilous King, one of the founders of the popular CNY pro-am basketball league in its 12th year, has done plenty for the community’s youth over the years. In the past, children have received SAT prep courses, help with admissions from local colleges, set up job fair-esque formats to help young people seeking employment and internships. He wanted to impact a younger audience this time around.
“We believe if we can get to these young people a little earlier then we can help them understand the relevance between sports and education,” King said.
The King of Kings Development Program and Summer Basketball Leagues was founded in 2006 and has since become a CNY summer scene staple. King ran a midnight basketball league during his time at the University at Albany. With the help of Brandon Long, Jordan Voss, George Minor, he was able to bring a competitive and consistent basketball league the Utica’s urban hoops scene, which has done a “good job” of merging an “urban feel” with collegiate and organized basketball without any violence.
There was a popular basketball league in New Hartford at the time, but King wanted to bring a different aspect.
“We wanted to bring the urban feel, we wanted it to be competitive, and then we wanted to have some type of life…