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Displaying items by tag: mike laudicina
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Regional YMCA (SRYMCA)’s summer basketball league had a new face on the court; Coach Aidan Glynn. Glynn, 23, has played basketball his entire life.
“I’ve always had a love for the game,” he said. About a year ago, Glynn began his coaching hobby at his old elementary school, but he wished to be even more involved.
“So, I reached out to the SRYMCA and got ahold of Mike Laudicina [league coordinator]; he ended up reaching out to me right away. He brought me in and told me all about this basketball program that he’s built up. I got excited about it right away and got involved,” Glynn said, explaining how his coaching career at the SRYMCA came to be.
Glynn, a Sienna College 2017 grad, is a salesperson by day, which affords him the flexibility to coach.
“It’s fun [being a young coach] because a lot of the kids are the same size as me. I played basketball growing up, so I felt like I was a pretty good player but some of the kids on my team now have more talent than I do,” he laughed.
Glynn’s coaching method is to involve everyone. His team is the undefeated team in the league, but he always makes sure that every team member plays and scores.
“I like to get everyone involved. When I played when I was younger, my first few years I rode the bench a lot and I think as a kid that’s really tough, so I like to get all the kids involved and let them play, especially here. It gives them a chance to get in game time situations where on their high school team it might be a little more tough to get all of the kids playing time,” he explained.
His favorite coaching moment so far has just been watching the team grow as players and people. Glynn will also be coaching in the fall league and his little brother will be joining his team.
“It’s great coaching my brother. He’s a lot more talented than I was when I was his age, so it’s great to see him learn and play and get better. As he continues to play, he gains confidence and that’s a great thing to see,” Glynn stated.
Glynn also hopes to grow into an even bigger role at the SRYMCA.
“I’ve really enjoyed the coaching so far and Mike [Laudicina] has been training me the different facets of the game and how putting together the league works,” Glynn explained.
He has learned score keeping, clock keeping, and how to interact with the refs.
“I really do see Aidan taking my position. I’m not going to be here forever, I keep saying this is my last year,” Laudicina laughed, “but I know I’ll be here for the fall and the summer.”
Laudicina has decided to mentor Glynn.
“One thing I can tell you though, it’s easy when you’re winning. Kids like it, they get excited, but if you check the papers you’ll see that everybody on his team scores. He makes sure of it. If someone isn’t
scoring, I’ll watch the other players on the team pass them the ball, so they will score. He keeps everybody involved and that is why not only do I think he’ll be a good coach, but I think he’ll be a good person to run the league in the future,” Laudicina said, complimenting Glynn.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Registration for the Saratoga Regional YMCA fall basketball league will be in full swing on Monday, September 10.
“We’re hoping to add two more teams to the fall league and that’s like what the growth has been, two teams each year, which is what we’re looking for this year,” explained league coordinator Mike Laudicina.
The decision to start early was based on the success of the summer league, which went from having six teams and 46 kids the year before and 72 kids and a two-team expansion this summer.
“I’d like to finish a little bit earlier because last year near the end, baseball was starting so we were losing a lot of players. It’s not fair to the team if somebody is a good athlete and they make the football team and they leave and all of a sudden you go from a team that depended on one person,” he explained.
A lot of the same kids who played in the summer also play in fall as well.
Other than starting early, “everything is going to be about the same as last year. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” Laudicina laughed.
The coaching staff is full, with new coaches from the summer league also carrying over into the fall. However, the fall league is still looking for two team sponsors. The fall league will carry on its’ tradition of their end of season banquet courtesy of Saratoga Honda.
“I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to do the banquet again like we did last year but by getting that donation from Saratoga Honda, that money will go and pay for the banquet. Last year, I budgeted $2,200 because that would always cover it, and last year we doubled in size so all of a sudden I had a $5,000 bill and I didn’t have the budget to cover it,” he said.
Saratoga Honda has that covered this year.
“In the summer league we ended up with a lot more girls, which is good, because that means that they’ll sign up for the fall. We had a young lady who played in the league two years ago, who was so timid, and quiet and would run back and forth with her hands down, she didn’t want the ball, but she wanted to play basketball. She didn’t want to make a mistake, but this year, she was a terror,” he laughed.
Laudicina’s goal for the basketball leagues is always healthy competition. He never wants one team to dominate over the others the entire season.
“You want everybody to be competitive. Everybody won games, and everybody lost games,” he said.
Saratoga Regional YMCA Basketball League Scores
WEEK THIRTEEEN SCORES — WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14:
GAME 1: D’Andrea’s Pizza – 60 vs. Post Time Wine & Spirits – 43
Ed Benway’s game high 24 points wasn’t enough for Post Time Wine & Spirits to avoid a 60 – 43 loss to D’Andrea’s Pizza Parlor. Jim Puleo notched 20 points, Charlie Maurer 18, and Mike Scanlon 16 points for D’Andrea’s. Jim Eliopulos added 11 points for Post Time.
GAME 2: Jones Steves – 68 vs. Gennaro’s Pizza – 62
Jones Steves outscored Gennaro’s Pizza 34 – 28 in the first half and continued on to their 68 – 62 victory. Rory Wilson notched a game high 34 points for Jones Steves while Kevin Reilly topped Gennaro’s with 28 points. Also, in double figures in the winning effort was Matt Truex with 13 points and ‘Squid’ Sephas with 11 points. Rob Thiess’s 14 points and Mark Sohl’s 13 kept Gennaro’s in the game.
GAME 3: Mama Mi’s Cafe – 71 vs. West Side Sports Grill - 54
Mama Mia’s Café moved into a first place tie with West Side Sports Grill by beating West Side 71 – 54. Mama Mia’s was led by 31 points from Bobby Hanson and 30 points from Andy Kramarchyk. West Side was paced by 18 points from Joe Twomey, 15 by John Mooney, and 11 points from Scott Waterhouse.
GAME 4: Village Photo, LLC – 67 vs. Nemer Chrysler – 65
Village Photo, LLC was able to overcome a 12 point first quarter deficit and earned a hard fought 67 – 65 win over Nemer Chrysler as Pat Reidy led the winners with 25 points. Nemer’s Phil Fitzpatrick was the league’s high scorer for the night with 37 points. Contributing to the win were Pat Correa with 16 points and Mike Lander with 12 points. Tom Kelly added 17 points for Nemer.
SRYMCA Rotary Youth Basketball Banquet
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The banquet, held on Sunday, March 18 at the Saratoga/Wilton Elks Club, was attended by 245 players, families, sponsors, coaches, referees, and Saratoga
Regional YMCA staff. Prior to the banquet there were 4 AllStar games, a Jr. Division, a Sr. Division, a coaches’ game and an alumni game for anyone who played in the league since 1992. There were three-point contests for both the Jr. and Sr. Divisions. The three-point winner for the Jr. Division was Steve Bebee and the winner for the Sr. Division was Patrick Dechaine.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Patrick Deschaine, an eighth grader at Maple Avenue Middle School, is currently a star on the YMCA Youth Basketball League.
“I love sports, they’re the biggest part of my life,” Deschaine said.
Deschaine has been playing on the YMCA team for the last two years.
“One day I was at the Y playing basketball and Mike Laudicina called me over and asked me if I wanted to play in the league for sixth through eighth grade,” he explained.
Deschaine, however, was asked by Mike Laudicina, basketball league coordinator, to move up in the league to the high school division for grades nine through twelve.
“This is my second year playing and I like it, it’s pretty fun,” Deschaine said.
“First of all, he is in the eighth grade which would be in our junior division but he’s so big and so good that I asked his parents if he could move up to the ninth through twelfth graders. He did, and he has flourished. He’s a great team player, a leading scorer,” Laudicina said via phone.
He also enjoys baseball and considers that to be his main sport.
“I focus more on baseball, but basketball is a game I play competitively, and I still have a lot of fun with it. I like competition, it’s fun, but playing with younger kids doesn’t really make me better or get me to where I want to be so playing with older people makes me better and gets me to where I want to be,” he said of the YMCA league.
Deschaine plays on the Village Photo team for the YMCA, as a center or power forward. For baseball, he is a pitcher and first basemen.
“I didn’t really start playing basketball until I was in fourth grade, but I love every sport and basketball came naturally to me. I started playing at the rec center with some of my friends and I played there for three years and then I moved on because that league was getting a little too easy so moving up to the Y and playing with the high schoolers, it’s just more competition and it makes it more entertaining for me,” he said.
“He’s just an all-around good kid. Always looking to help. He helped a little in the summer with summer league. He’s a kid of very good quality, not just a good ball player, but a good student in school too. He’s really adapted and is playing very well. I would be ecstatic if he was my son, he’s such a good kid that if I could have a son like him I definitely would,” Laudicina said, highly praising Deschaine.
Other than sports, Deschaine said that school is going well, and his favorite subject is science “because we’re doing a lot of labs. I like hands-on activities way better than taking notes all class.”
Next year he will be a high school freshman and he is excited to be involved in high school athletics.
“It’s going to be a fun experience playing with older kids,” he stated.
[Photo by Thomas Kika]
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Mike Laudicina, basketball league coordinator at the Saratoga YMCA, originally started the league in 1991 for kids who did not make the JV or Varsity teams at their school, so they would still have a chance to play basketball.
“We found that there were so many young people who were good enough to play on those teams but they can only have so many there. So we started with six teams and ended up when I originally retired in 2009, 24 teams in the league,” said Laudicina.
Laudicina retired in 2009 and then decided to come back in a smaller capacity in 2015.
“I had this passion for basketball and if somebody else comes in and doesn’t have that same passion, sometimes it’s not the same thing on that front burner. So they called me up in 2015 to come back because I had retired. I came back and there were only four teams, 26 boys,” Laudicina explained.
The fall basketball league is co-ed, just how Laudicina prefers it. He is a father of boys and girls and has always demanded that his league be for boys and girls.
“I don’t like leaving out girls because sometimes they’re better than the boys. Especially in the younger years, because physically they’re about the same,” Laudicina said.
This year’s league will have 12 teams and approximately 15 girls playing. When Laudicina came back after retirement there were four teams and this year they are shooting for 12, six in the junior division and six in the varsity division. The junior division is for grades five through eight and the varsity division is for grades nine through 12.
“The league gets kids in here from all over; it’s not just Saratoga, it’s Ballston Spa, Mechanicville, Corinth. The whole area, because there really is nothing for these kids to do so it keeps them out of trouble. They have one practice a week for an hour and then our games are on Sunday mornings, around 10:30 a.m. and goes until all the games are done,” Laudicina explained the league.
There are two coaches per team and nine scheduled games and at least one playoff game as each team makes the playoffs. If your team succeeds in the playoffs, there will be 12 games total.
“The great part about this, is that so many of the coaches played in the league. They want to give back, it’s all volunteers. It’s great to see them come back and say, ‘you know what, it was great for me and I want to make it great for somebody else,” Laudicina said.
Registration fees are $74 for YMCA members and $125 for non-members.
“We have sponsorship money for everything at the Y. Anyone can be sponsored and get scholarships,” Laudicina clarified.
If interested kids come in and they don’t have an active home life and they want to play but they can’t afford to or don’t have the parental involvement to, Laudicina will help them fill out paperwork and get sponsored so that they can still play.
“Some people see the price and they say ‘jeez, that’s a lot’ and they can’t afford to bring their kids in, but there are scholarships that can help!” Laudicina said encouragingly.
Last year the league had around 63 players and 10 of them were fully sponsored. The Over-50 Basketball League had a player pass away and in his honor, they made a collection and they donated it to the younger kids for sponsorships. So that is used to help.
Registration begins Sept. 18 and runs through Nov. 19 with games beginning Dec. 3.
“On November 19, we have something we call Skills Assessment. It’s not a tryout because a tryout means you might not make it. Everybody makes the team; we just want them to be evenly matched. Last year, we had eight teams and in both divisions, there were no teams who didn’t win two or three games and nobody who won every game. Everybody gets to play in the league; everybody has to sit down too. So if you have a star player, they can’t play the whole game,” Laudicina said.
Laudicina has already seen success since he has restarted at the YMCA with his summer league program.
“I couldn’t believe it, up until the day we started people were trying to get in. Once we ordered shirts and everything, there was nowhere to go. So we had a few I couldn’t get in,” he said.
First and second place winners of the fall league receive trophies at the yearly banquet put on by the Elks Club on Maple Ave. The Elks Club also sponsors a team. There is also a James Cudney Award which is for a senior in high school who demonstrates what it means to be a wonderful teammate, student, and volunteer.
“When the league started, I was the youth director here. Kids used to come up to my office and say to me, ‘I saw the paper!’ And I would say, ‘yeah I know! You scored however many points.’ I knew everybody’s name, and I knew what he or she did and it made them feel important. That’s the other thing, to make these kids feel important,” Laudicina wrapped up.
Registration begins Sept. 18, visit www.srymca.org for more information.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The play-offs for the Saratoga Regional YMCA’s youth basketball league were held recently, marking the end of the league’s current season before the new summer league commences in June. In the Saratoga Rotary Jr. Division, the D’Andrea’s Pizza and BHHS Blake Realtors teams faced off, with D’Andrea’s coming out on top, 42-32. In the Saratoga/Wilton Elks Lodge Sr. Division, the Toyota of Clifton Park and Mexican Connection teams competed in the finals, with the Toyota of Clifton Park team taking the win, 56-46.
Along with the finals, the youth league also gave out the James Cudney Award, which goes to the player who most exemplifies the YMCA’s core values. This year, the award went to Saratoga Springs High School junior Elias Wohl.