90 THE QUEENS COURIER • JUNE 22, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Championship hoops program
in Queens is something special
BY JUSTIN BERGLUND
firstname.lastname@example.org / @QNS
The Queens-based LunarNYC
Warriors basketball program’s women’s
open division team recently won the
37th annual North American Chinese
Basketball Tournament in Madison, WI.
Aft er not losing a game throughout
the tournament, the team defeated fellow
Photo via LunarNYC
Bayside baseball star - and son of
Mets great - is an Amazin’ draft pick
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
email@example.com / @robbpoz
Does the (home run) apple fall far from
the tree? Th e New York Mets hope that’s
the case with Daniel Alfonzo.
Th e Mets selected the star infi elder of
the Bayside High School baseball team
— who also happens to be the son of
Edgardo Alfonzo, one of the best hitting
infi elders the Mets ever produced — in
the 38th round of this year’s MLB Draft
held last week.
In his eight years as a Met, the elder
Alfonzo — nicknamed “Fonzie” by the
Flushing faithful — played three diff erent
infi eld positions and excelled at the
plate, hitting .292 and slugging 120 home
runs. His two best off ensive years came
in 1999 and 2000, helping the Mets win
the National League Pennant in the latter
year. He’s now managing the Brooklyn
Cyclones, which is part of the Mets’
minor league system.
Daniel Alfonzo, meanwhile, has
enjoyed success of his own at Bayside,
helping the team capture its fi rst PSAL
Championship in 2016 while playing
third base and shortstop — two of his
father’s former positions. Over 16 regular
season games this year, he had 24
hits in 51 at-bats, including 3 home runs;
he never hit lower than .471 in his four
According to the PSAL website, the
younger Alfonzo was named Bayside’s
MVP each of the last three seasons; he led
the PSAL in home runs (8) in his sophomore
year. He’s slated to attend Adelphi
University in Garden City this fall.
“We’ve seen him quite a bit,” Tommy
Tanous, vice president of amateur scouting,
said in an MLB.com report. “He’s a
really, really talented kid. He plays third
base, can hit, can do a little bit of everything.”
Daniel Alfonzo isn’t the only baseball
prodigy from Queens to get major league
attention this year. Quentin Holmes
of East Elmhurst, who attends Msgr.
McClancy Memorial High School and is
the team’s star centerfi elder, was picked
by the Cleveland Indians in the second
round of this year’s draft . A second
McClancy baseball star, pitcher Charlie
Neuweiler, was selected in the fi ft h round
by the Kansas City Royals.
Big Apple team, the NYC Sabres, in
the fi nals 42-31 to win the championship,
ending the tournament undefeated.
With the victory, LunarNYC, formerly
called U.S. Asian Basketball Inc., now
has its 14th North American Chinese
Basketball Invitational Championship
victory since its inception in 2001.
Th e LunarNYC Warriors basketball
program is for Asian-American players
ranging from middle school, high school
and college-aged students and has facilities
in Flushing and Long Island City.
More than 20 of the program’s students
have been playing college basketball
since its inception in 2003, including
at Northeastern, the University of
Pittsburgh and CalTech.
Jiang Yu, the program’s founder, created
the LunarNYC Warriors in order
to off er free basketball training to lower
income children in New York City, an
opportunity he did not have growing up.
“I couldn’t aff ord to take part in basketball
education as a kid,” said Yu, “but
I don’t want other people to be deprived
of this important experience.”
Th e championship win also comes
with the hope that the North American
Chinese Basketball Tournament will
come to New York City in the future, the
city last hosted the tournament in 1999.
Basketball, however, is just the tip of
the iceberg for what Yu hopes to accomplish
“Th e idea is to help to unite Asian cultures
for the common goal of helping
one another,” said Yu.
LunarNYC, which stands for New
Year Celebration as well showcasing
the organization’s hometown, is a
non-profi t organization with a mission
“to empower youth between the ages of
5 years old to 25 years old while promoting
Diversity, Love, Unity, Peace, and
Along with spearheading eff orts for
improved Chinese community outreach
and services for members of the military
and veterans, one of Yu’s goals for
LunarNYC in the future is to bring a
Chinese New Year Parade to New York
“Th e dream is to have a Lunar New
Year parade down Fift h Avenue,” said
Yu. “If there’s a St. Patrick’s Day Parade
and a Puerto Rican Day Parade, why not
a Lunar New Year Parade?”
“It’s all about helping each other,” said
Yu. “I want to leave a legacy of paying it
To learn more or support the eff orts of
Lunar NYC with a tax-deductible donation,
visit at www.lunarnyc.org.
Photo via Facebook/Danny Alfonzo
Daniel Alfonzo (center) is shown with his
father Edgardo Alfonzo (left).
The championship LunarNYC team