Suffolk lawmakers raise a racquet at SCCC announcement

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Freshman Democratic Legis. Monica Martinez outplayed Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) with a forceful overhead serve as officials showed their stuff Monday during the formal announcement that Suffolk County Community College's Brentwood campus will host the $120,000 U.S. Open Badminton Championship.

The Brentwood lawmaker, in whose district the event will be held July 8-13, not only whacked the shuttlecock but also played in spike heels. Lawmakers and college president Shaun McKay tried their hands at it before professionals put on a more intense exhibition in singles and doubles.

Local officials welcomed executives of the Open’s tournament committee with hopes of generating $400,000 in revenue and a long-term relationship with the event, which for the last 18 years has been held in California.

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Although the event was bipartisan, new GOP freshman lawmakers Kevin McCaffrey and Rob Trotta suggested a Republican vs. Democratic match as a warm-up for the championship, an idea tourney officials embraced.

Gregory acknowledged, “Badminton is not my forte,” but added, when the event begins, “I’ll be out there cheering.”

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