Wyandanch, NY – Suffolk County Legislature Minority Leader Jason Richberg (D - West Babylon) and Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan M. Abrahams (D - Freeport) celebrated the region’s top hardwood talent by hosting the inaugural “Best of Long Island” basketball tournament at the Nassau County Police Department’s David S. Mack Center for Training and Intelligence in Uniondale on Sunday, Aug. 21.
It was an exciting back-and-forth contest that went the distance- and then some. After tying at 57 at the end of regulation, Bay Shore High School, which emerged as the winners from Suffolk’s Bright Lights summer league, overcame a tenacious challenge from Rising Stars on the Ball from Nassau County’s Coes Neck Classic League to win 69-65 in overtime. Mike Samuda of Bay Shore High School scored 30 points in Suffolk’s victory and was named the game’s MVP.
“Thank you to everyone who came out for the ‘Best of Long Island’ basketball tournament,” said Suffolk Legislature Minority Leader Richberg. “It was a hard-fought game that went to overtime with the team representing Suffolk County coming out on top. Legislator Abrahams and I saw this as a great opportunity for collaboration, as well as some friendly cross-county competition. We hope to make this game a yearly tradition. Congratulations to all of the participants!”
“The inaugural ‘Best of Long Island’ championship game truly lived up to its name,” Nassau Legislature Minority Leader Abrahams said. “Congratulations to Suffolk’s Bright Lights for capturing the crown in a thrilling game that won’t soon be forgotten. It was a pleasure working with Minority Leader Richberg and all of the coaches and athletes to host this competition - one that I hope will become a tradition.”
Coaches for the rival teams said the event served as a fitting culmination for their respective summer leagues.
“This was a great event, and I hope this is the first of many ‘Best of Long Island’ tournaments in the years to come,” Baldwin High School Coach Darius Burton, who directed Coes Neck along with Fred Lopez, said. “I want to thank Legislator Abrahams and everyone who made it possible to have this game at the police academy.”
“It was a great experience for both teams,” said Devine Smith, who served as Commissioner of Bright Lights along with Tyrone Tillman. “I think we did a great job of taking the separate entities we had and bringing them together to determine an overall champion.”