June 22, 2017
We had a total blast at Player-to-Ref Camp at St. John's University this weekend. The play was the most competitive women basketball I've seen.
A big thanks to:
- St. John's University Coach Joe Tartamella,
- QNS SUBOA/MECCA NETWORK's Cornell Hampton and his staff,
- MAGBO's Kerry Donohue (CEO),
- Heather Browne (Div. I official) and Joe Vaszily (Div. I officials) for making this camp a success.
Kudos to the former players who made their way through New York City and to the gym at 7:45am for a day of training. It's a privilege to serve officials at every stage of their careers.
November 19, 2017
MAGBO honors officials in Bayside
Metropolitan Approved Girls Basketball Officials, an organization dedicated to educating referees, honored the accomplishments of some of their own on Nov. 4 at Bourbon Street in Bayside at its third annual gala.
The Honorees included those who had overcome adversity to continue their passion for officiating games as well as those who had simply put in years of dedicated service to women's basketball, such as Maryann Jecewiz, Dameon Harrison, Cornell Hampton, Robert Moccia and Laura Isabelle.
Maryann Jecewiz received the Fran Mitilieri Medalion for Excellence in Women's Basketball. She played for Christ the King High School in Middle Village before going on to compete on the women's hoops team for Queens College, for which she was inducted into the NYC Hall of Fame. She moved on to coach in the Bronx and officiated at the NCAA Division I level.
"As a player, coach and official, I guess I've done it all" Jecewiz said.
Dameon Harrison was an honoree for a successful first year as a referee and is a recipient of the Battlefields to Ballfields Scholarship from Fox Sports, which helps returning soldiers intergrate back in their community through sports officiating. He graduated Thomas Edison High School in Jamaica and started his service in the U.S. Navy in 1997. He learned to officiated through MAGBO before receiving the scholarship.
Cornell Hampton was elected into MAGBO Hall of Fame as founder of Queens Sports United Benevolent Officials Association and CEO of Mecca Network of Officiating, which has been educating officials for more than three decades. Hampton has been officiating for just as long for Girls High School and NCAA Division III games.
" I have an eye and I see things in people, I just want to bring out the best in them to make them good officials, especially in girls and women's basketball," Hampton said. "Every time we get new officials, I tell them don't take this game for granted."
Queens SUBOA itself was also entered into the MAGBO Hall of Fame.
A veteran referee of over 25 years, Moccia was given the MAGBO Game Changer Award. He is also a retired FDNY captain who served on 9/11 and in the aftermath of the attack. He also officiates for baseball games.
"The credo we live by as referees is 'trust your partner," Moccia said of his relationship with fellow officiate, Cornell Hampton, by explaining how MAGBO members often back each other on and off the court when it comes to disgruntled players and their parents.
Isabelle was given the Courage in the Face of Adversity Award for her battle against brain cancer. She began her career as a ref following in her father's footsteps and was even able to officiate with as her partner. She has officiated for NCAA Division III tournaments.
"[The doctors] walked in and told me there was a mass in my brain. Usually the next sentence is 'Get your affairs in order.' but for me, I was lucky and my family was lucky, "Isabelle said. A little less than six months later [after a surgery to remove the tumor] I got back on the court... I think the reason I wanted to come back so bad was that I just love to do it... I wasn't ready for it to be over."
MAGBO is in its fourth year in existence and partners with other organizations like it to advance the careers of referees throughout the state.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by email at [email protected] or by phone at (718) 260 4564.
Posted 12:00am, November 19, 2017