This is one of those stories where sports and society mix, with a little help from a kid who gets “the big picture,” as Port Washington boys basketball coach Sean Dooley put it.
Harrison Remler, a Port Washington senior and small forward on the basketball team, organized a fundraising event called “Hoops for Haiti” Tuesday night when Uniondale visited Schreiber High for the second meeting between the two teams this season.
Remler learned in the days following the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti that Uniondale has a good number of students and staff of Haitian descent. He read a Newsday article that listed the numbers, 163 students and 12 staff members, and included anecdotes of students who had been unable to contact loved ones in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Remler wanted to make some kind of difference, and did, organizing a fundraising event Tuesday that brought in $2,030 that will go to the American Red Cross for the Haiti relief efforts in honor of Uniondale.
“I was so impressed by the fans, community and all of those who came out to support a great cause,” Remler said after the event. “It’s inspirational to see what hard work can do on and off the court.”
“This shows that while wins are cherished people can step back from the competitive world of sports and fight for a cause much bigger,” he also said.
As for the game, Uniondale won, 52-32, an outcome that Remler was expecting going into the game, considering Port Washington has one win this conference season and Uniondale is in first place.
“We played well going into the fourth quarter and got major contributions from teammates who haven’t seen major minutes this year [Mike Murphy]. I told Adam [Epstein] to keep shooting and he battled through a heel injury,” he said. “We fought against Uniondale, one of the best programs in the county.”
Check Sunday’s Newsday for a complete story on the fundraising event.