Mike James Day at Bolden Mack Park in Amityville was a tremendous success. Rock the Block Promoters and the Ministerial Alliance of North Amityville really got the people out for the second year in a row. The churches, under the direction of Pastor Roy Kirton, of the Circle of Love Ministry / President of M.A.N.A. and Bishop Andy C. Lewter of Hollywood Full Gospel Cathedral pooled their dollars sponsoring this event. The 22 churches of M.A.N.A were all involved. I saw Pastor Kirton, Pastor Jimmy Jack, of Freedom Chapel, Pastor Stanley Gordon Smith, of Bethel A.M.E, and Pastor Connie Davis’ assistant, Sister Noreen Woods of the First A.M.E. Church in Wyandanch. Freedom Chapel had just as many security people as Suffolk County Police.
Our elected officials were present greeting folks and shaking hands: Congressman Steve Israel; Bob Sweeney; Antonio Martenez and Lou Medina, Youth Director. One could even find Jean Dember, community activist and sister soldier getting petitions signed for the newly formed Freedom Party.
Before I arrived, Pastor Kirton reported they gave out food to more than 425 families, and while I was there, they gave out free hot dogs and a soft drink or water to every one in the park. It was outstanding. Additionally, music and a lively basketball game were enjoyed by all.
I got a chance to speak to Shabue Mosley, who coached the game and is a trainer who works with our local children in this park all week long, 6-11 a.m. He lives in Amityville and attended Copiague School, graduating in 1993. He has overcome many of the obstacles caused by multiple sclerosis. He grew up with Mike James, and after all the fanfare was over, he is still there developing some loyal followers in the areas of mental toughness, discipline and overall conditioning, which is needed to excel in any sport.
The basketball camp runs throughout the summer and he says the children don’t touch a basketball until August. Theyhave been there all of July, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They range in age from elementary school through college. I believe he currently coaches 32 young people, girls and boys alike, who also participate in other sports.
The most interesting thing to me, is that Mosley has a disease that could have him crippled for life yet, he is fighting hard. He doesn’t show any signs of discomfort. He said there are days he doesn’t feel like getting up, but he must. He didn’t know he had MS until he went temporarily blind in his right eye in 2000. He can see, but the syndrome has taken him up and down for many years.
He continues his dream, starting at Paris Jr. College in Texas, and continuing at Dowling College. Since 1995, he has coached close to 3,000 youngsters, including a young woman who went to H.S. Gabby Gibson and is an all pro hopeful now in her second year there; Bryant, from Massapequa; Javon, an All County wrestler; Rolando, a track star, and quarter back for Copiague. Mike Smith plays J.V. Basketball and Malcolm will play J.V. next year.
His camp is like a big brother/ big sister organization and Damon Dudley is his best friend and partner who encourages him always.
His e-mail is mosl eyshab@yahoo. com Can we help him to find a permanent court in the fall? U.N.A.Y.O.?
I thank God for people of this nature in our community. Having overcome a few obstacles myself, I am tremendously grateful for my friendships. I could not make it without them.