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Adaptive Basketball Exhibition Takes Center Court at 5th Annual Magro Madness

For the fifth year in a row, basketball players and enthusiasts will come together at Hicksville High School on Saturday, March 2, 2019, to participate in Magro Madness to benefit the Michael Magro Foundation. The event, which begins at 10am through 8pm, features three on three competitions for both male and female basketball players, offers players [in age brackets from eight years of age through adult] an opportunity to show off their on-court skills, have a great time, and raise money for the Michael Magro Foundation. The Foundation supports local families undergoing extreme stress due to a child battling cancer or other catastrophic illness.

This year, Magro Madness will feature an adaptive basketball exhibition with co-ed athletes from the Henry Viscardi School in Albertson, NY., an accredited model school offering parents of children with severe physical disabilities a traditional educational setting that provides academics, opportunities for personal growth and leadership development, and robust cultural enrichment that enables students to be active, independent, and self-sufficient. Students at the school hail from all throughout Long Island, Westchester, and the five boroughs of New York City.

Joe Slaninka, an Assistant Teacher, Extra-Curricular Advisor, and Wheelchair Basketball Coach at The Viscardi School, has been involved with wheelchair basketball since his college days. Born with two medical conditions necessitating his use of a wheelchair, Slaninka spent his early years unable to participate in sports. While at Stony Brook University, he met a friend who introduced him to wheelchair basketball, an activity he credits with altering his life. The game provides participants with recreation, physical fitness, an appreciation of team sports, and genuine fun. “It gives you a sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself.” states Slaninka as he described the feeling he gets from playing the game.

Slaninka brought the adaptive wheelchair basketball game to The Viscardi School, where teams are played five on five, with baskets set at two, four or eight feet “…to ensure every child can play safely and successfully.” The sport has grown at the school, with three teams now on the roster – High School, Middle School and Elementary School. The school participates in the Empire State Games and is thrilled to be exhibiting their skills for the Magro Madness event.

Jim Montana, Chair of the Magro Madness event, is delighted to have the Viscardi team join in for the fun. “It’s one of the days I look forward to most all year. Everyone has a great time for a wonderful cause. The exhibition is going to make a great day even better.”

For the second year in a row, Geneva Capital Management is the Event Sponsor for Magro Madness. Additional sponsorships are still available. All teams get to play in at least three games and champions are named for every age bracket in the tournament. Contact montanajamesc@gmail.com for information on sponsorship opportunities, registering a team, volunteering or for other event details.

Michael Magro Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Paul and Terrie Magro to honor the life of their son Michael, who passed away from leukemia at the age of 13. The Foundation works with the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop-University Hospital, Stony Brook Children’s Cancer Division, and other Winthrop and Stony Brook pediatric specialties where treatment of chronic diseases is ongoing, as well as with the Golisano Children’s Hospital in Southwest Florida. The core programs offered are: Life Essentials [helping families struggling financially during their child’s treatment with non-medical expenses]; Project SOAR [providing support for childhood cancer patients, families, students and teachers when the patient returns to school following long illnesses]; and Bonding With Baby [helping siblings of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) communicate and bond].  In partnership with The Spencer Foundation, the organization has added Operation Playcation, an initiative to provide inpatient pediatric hospital patients with Playstation 4 units and an array of gaming choices. 


Media is invited to be attend throughout the event. One-on-one interviews will be available.

For more information on the Michael Magro Foundation, or to make a contribution, visit www.michaelmagrofoundation.org or email info@michaelmagrofoundation.org. For more information on The Henry Viscardi School, visit, www.henryviscardischool.org.

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For More Information:

Contact: Tammy Severino – info@michaelmagrofoundation.org – (631) 834-1990