PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - The Carver Center teamed up with Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni and other members of the team's coaching staff on Wednesday to give away 150 turkey dinners to families from the center’s food pantry and after school program.
The staff also conducted a clinic for members of Port Chester High’s boys' and girls' basketball teams.
The event, which is in its third year, is largely coordinated by D’Antoni’s wife Laurel. According to Elizabeth Cook, the Carver Center’s development director, the event “would not have been possible if it weren’t for the Laurel’s effort”.
Laurel D’Antoni also helped renovate the Carver Center’s gymnasium, where the Turkey give-away and clinic is held.
"It’s an old-fashioned community center that is all encompassing and meets the needs of an under-served community," she said of the Carver Center.
The Knicks coach echoed his wife’s sentiment.
“The Carver Center does a great job all year long and this our way of helping them out,” D’Antoni said. “We get to come down here, feed some families, teach some kids, and it’s a really gratifying experience.”
Port Chester High School boys’ basketball coaches Bob Wynn and Craig Holcomb expressed a similar sense of gratitude towards the Knicks and the D’Antoni family.
“Every year we take a day off from practice and come down to the Carver Center with the Knicks,” Holcomb said. “Our kids look forward to it every year and they really get a lot out of it.”
Holcomb added that, after three years, the Knicks coaches even know some of the players by their first names.
“You can tell the coaches are really into it, and it means a lot to the kids,” he said.
Also on hand to help out was former Knick Allan Houston and current Knicks Vice President Jamie Matthews of Port Chester.