EASTCHESTER, N.Y. - Budding basketball players in the Children Understanding Cultural Differences organization completed several months of competition this summer with the help of local sponsors.
The CUCD, founded three years ago to bring together youngsters from Eastchester, Tuckhaoe and Bronxville for competition in recreation basketball, has played in several leagues and tournaments.
"We, the parents, paid for three registrations last year and with school starting we reached out to business owners," CUCD founder and coach Donald Gunther said. "Thank God, (CUCD's) biggest supporters, The Quarry's (Tuckahoe restaurant) Dom Cesarini, Mirado Properties' Phil Rafiani and John Raybin from Greenwich, Conn. were big supporters."
The CUCD Minutemen were the Eighth Grade League champions in the Ardsley House of Sports league in the winter season before moving on to played AAU recreation league basketball in the 14-Under division.
"We played in six tournaments in which we represented ourselves well and the entire experience left the boys wanting more," Gunther said. "We reached the Elite Eight in the 40-team in a D3 regional tournament in Brewster, a game away from the District-Regional National Tournament in Virginia."
Gunther said the team also played a tough summer league with junior varsity age schools such as Peekskill, Putnam Valley, Briarcliff, Yorktown, Saunders, (Greenburgh) Clark Academy, Fordham Prep, Good Counsel (Harrison), Plesantville , Somers and Cardinal Spellman (Bronx).
"Again, the boys held their own and we ended six wins and three losses and a game short from making the playoffs," Gunther said. "The boys will be playing in the Greenwich Power League on Saturdays and the House of Sports Junior Varsity League on Sundays from Sept to Nov. and finally we are going to Springfield Mass. and the National Basketball Hall of Fame."