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Once in a lifetime experience: Monte Vista Christian basketball coach Mooney to take kids to New York

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 10th, 2013

The Each One Teach One program will be taking 40 kids to New York on a 10-day trip to experience the culture of the east coast and also compete against other basketball players from other parts of the country.

“I just wanted to show these kids that there’s more, something bigger, than just Santa Cruz County,” said Monte Vista Christian basketball coach Dan Mooney.

Mooney will be leading the trip when the kids and their parents set foot on the east coast. Mooney was raised in Brooklyn and learned how to play basketball by playing pickup games on famous New York courts like Rucker Park and The Cage, and as a kid he dreamed that someone would take him to a place like California, now he is that someone.

After playing college basketball at the State University of New York at La Paltz, and being named an All-American, he played pro basketball for 18 years both in the States and overseas.

Now Mooney leads the varsity, freshman and middle school programs at Monte Vista Christian, and he’ll be leading his kids through camps and tournaments while in New York.

“The way they play, and their mentality of the game is so different,” said Bredan Hanlon, a sophomore at Monte Vista Christian. “I can just tell from coach Mooney, his mentality, and how he teaches it. It’s all about the fundamentals, and teamwork.”

And the players will be tested. They will participate in a two-day tournament at the Freeport Recreation Center in Freeport, New York, and also will attend a four-day camp at St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay, New York.

“It’s just going to be fun to see what it’s like,” said Bronson Kirchick, who is also a sophomore at Monte Vista Christian. “You might be the best player in your county, but then you go over there and you play against these guys who are going to be at the next level with you, and it’s kind of a wake up call. You’re not just going to play college ball with the guys you play in high school, you’re playing against players from all over the place.”

Mooney will also be taking younger kids with him, and three of those kids include brothers Miles, 11 years old, Marcus, 13 years old and Michael, 15 years old, Greene.

“It’s probably going to be really cool,” said Miles, “because these are people from around the world that I’ve never met that are really really good, and it’s going to be a fun experience to get better.”

The Greene brothers and their mother, Toni, will all be making the trip to New York.

“We’re a basketball family,” said Toni, “so anything affiliated with basketball in country, out of country, we’ll do. So when they told me that they had that chance, I just told them to keep working hard, and if you get selected we’ll consider going.”

Toni played at played high school basketball at Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland, and went on to play at San Jose State.

“I’m excited for them,” said Toni. “They’ll get to see another side of basketball, and they’ve never been to New York so it’s an opportunity to get to New York and sight see. When I was that age I never got the opportunity.”

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