It’s hard to believe, but it’s a reality, Latino Sports will be celebrating their 25th Annual Celebrity Basketball Game and Family Health Day tomorrow at the Orchard Beach, Joe “Pops” Cruz Basketball Courts. The event begins at 11am and end at 4pm.
The games grew out of an idea that Latino Sports president, Julio Pabón ‘s children had about uniting the different generations into one event that everyone, no matter what age could participate and learn from each other, thus the original games were between Salseros and Rapperos. Those games brought some of the most up and coming musical artist of that time. Fat Joe, Magic Juan, Big Pun, Tito Puente Jr. Larry Harlow, and Tito Nievez to name a few. The half time shows also invited community artist, one that was up and coming and now well known is the Poet, Caridad De La Luz, AKA La Bruja who participated in many of those early games sharing her love, poems and her white doves.
The games eventually evolved, as Mr. Pabón’s children grew older and moved out of the Bronx. Latino Sports loved the concept and realized that instead of dropping the event, we could convert it into a community event that could do something to highlight the problem of health that has affected the Bronx for years. Of the sixty-two counties in the state of New York the Bronx is 62 in terms of health, making it the unhealthiest. We believe that this is a health crisis compounded by the growing problem of child and adult obesity, high levels of asthma, and diabetes much stemming from unhealthy life styles and lack of physical activity. Thus, the Celebrity Games of today tend to highlight the people, the young men and women of our community that do what they can to promote a healthy living environment.
The games today have become a fun family day with music and surprises for those that attend. The games feature what has become a major rivalry between, BronxNet and Latino Sports. Each team plays for a “Bragging Rights Trophy.” There is also a second game of basketball seniors featuring the Harlem Legends Vs. The Puerto Rican Legends that help demonstrate that you can be any age and still do some form of exercise. These games bring out family and friends who see each other once a year always at the same place and date, always the last Sunday of August.
In addition, BronxCare and Martin Luther King Clinic set up a health tent and provide a Health Mobile to give free medical screenings of, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. It’s unfortunate, but some people have indicated that this is the only check up that they get all year. Latino Sports is proud to do this event every year and we thank the following sponsors;
BronxCare Medical Systems, Martin Luther King Health Clinic, GOYA Foods, The NY Yankees and the 45th Police Prescient and AyNaMa Music Productions.
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