Drew Hassenbein and Ethan Falkowitz were honored by the Jewish Sports Heritage Association during a ceremony in Lawrence. NewsdayTV's Steve Langford reports. Credit: Newsday/James Carbone

Two Roslyn tennis prodigies killed in a car crash last year were honored by the Jewish Sports Heritage Association during a ceremony in Lawrence on Sunday.

Drew Hassenbein and Ethan Falkowitz, 14-year-old students at Roslyn Middle School, were remembered as both outstanding athletes and kind, compassionate young men.

“Ethan and Drew should be getting this award when they're high school seniors,” Alan Freedman, director of the association, told the crowd gathered at Temple Israel in Lawrence. “They were taken from us way too young and as a parent, and more importantly as a human being, this hurt me tremendously.”

Hassenbein and Falkowitz had just had dinner to celebrate a tennis match victory with two older teammates on May 3, 2023, when the car they were traveling in on North Broadway in Jericho was struck by a pickup driven the wrong way. Hassenbein and Falkowitz were killed while the car's driver and another passenger suffered injuries.

Police have said the driver of the pickup, Amandeep Singh of Roslyn, was drunk and high on cocaine going 95 mph. He was indicted on several charges including manslaughter and assault. Singh has pleaded not guilty.

Hassenbein and Falkowitz’s parents did not attend the ceremony but Falkowitz’s parents authored the biography in the ceremony journal, Freedman said.

“There’s just so much I'm sure they would've accomplished in their lives,” Freedman said, adding the group hopes to create an annual award in the teens’ names for the top tennis players in the United States, male and female.

Roslyn Middle School Principal Craig Johanson submitted a letter on behalf of the school community filled with memories from Hassenbein and Falkowitz’s teachers and administrators.

One commented that Falkowitz was “respectful and polite” with “such a beautiful smile that you couldn’t help but love him.”

Another praised Hassenbein's “work ethic and determination” that set him above the rest, adding, “he was one of a kind.”

“Their legacy serves as a beacon of light, guiding us to be better people, nurturing the qualities that made them shine so brightly in our lives,” Johanson wrote.

The association honored several other athletes including Stephan Gershfeld, who graduated from Hewlett High School in 2023 and has a long list of tennis accomplishments including being the 2022 New York State men's singles champion, a two-time All-American and three-time county singles champion. Gershfeld was also inducted into the Math, Science, Business and National Honor Societies. He will be attending the University of Pennsylvania and playing for its tennis team.

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