Q&A with Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis

Paul Savramis

Paul Savramis

Paul Savramis built a strong foundation in physical education and child psychology early, earning a Master’s degree in both subjects. As he was pursuing these degrees, Paul Savramis founded the Eastern Invitational Summer Basketball Camps in order to provide an outlet for young people to Play to Learn and to Grow. After a decade spent directing these summer camps, Paul Savramis wanted a program that would help kids year-round and Rising Stars was that program. This organization, birthed in 1996, provides children an opportunity to develop life skills and important values while learning basketball skills. Below, Paul Savramis answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the Rising Stars program.

Q: Rising Stars has become one of the nation’s most respected Youth Foundations. Explain what makes your program unique.

Paul Savramis: Rising Stars seeks to enroll children into its yearly programs in grade school. We do that through our clinics and camps. Children are placed on teams and participate in tournaments and leagues. Throughout that time we seek to reinforce family values and a sense of community. Our goal is to keep each child that enrolls in our programs active and in those programs throughout HS. We measure our success by the number of kids that go on to college following their senior year. I believe that the most unique aspect of this program is the degree of involvement and interaction between our coach’s and the players on our teams. We have dedicated teachers, not just coaches that stay involved and act as a valuable resource throughout the child’s development. Basketball is a tool to reach kids so that we can teach kids.

Q: What are the age groups for your Rising Stars?

Paul Savramis: Children are enrolled on teams in grade school from elementary school to high school. Teams start in grades 3 and 4 and continue throughout the player’s senior year. Clinics for younger children are offered.

Q: What about the younger children?

Paul Savramis: We have special sessions for kindergarten to fourth graders, providing lessons in a fun manner that is age and skill appropriate. We strongly believe that the emphasis of teaching at that age is Fun-damental. All Rising Stars clinics are interactive. Rising Stars was a pioneer in this style of camp and clinic.

Q: Can you tell me a bit about the camp’s philosophy?

Paul Savramis: Rising Stars has always believed that students learn more by actively participating. As I always say, if you tell someone they’ll forget. Show them and they’ll remember. Let them be involved, and they’ll understand.

We also stress that if you believe it you will achieve it. The Whiz Kids (Our travel group for away clinics) put on inspirational shows that demonstrate that Anything Is Possible.

Q: What about class size?

Paul Savramis: Camp and clinics size are strictly limited to assure each child remains an individual. We believe in working with smaller groups so that each child is able to get the personalized attention he or she needs.

Q: How much does a session at a Rising Stars camp cost?

Paul Savramis: Currently we have camps at Long Island Lutheran where enrollment is just over $1000 for each two week session. These particular camps are open to older children, from fourth grade to twelfth grade. Bus transportation and lunch is provided at an extra $60 charge.

Long Island Lutheran is our home base and is one of the largest summer programs in the world.

Yearly clinic costs vary by length of camp and specialty.

Q: What can I expect in my child’s daily session at Rising Stars?

Paul Savramis: Each session features introductions of new skills, as well as the opportunity to practice those skills. Participants put those skills into practice in one-on-one tournaments, daily drills and in games.

Q: Do you offer private training sessions outside of the camp?

Paul Savramis: Yes, a variety of individualized training sessions are available, from one-on-one to small groups of three or four students to one coach. These programs can be tailored to meet the needs of individual participants. All trainers are certified teachers.

Paul Savramis and the team at Rising Stars have received accolades from public officials and coaches around the world, including former President George W. Bush and former New York Governor George Pataki. Today, Paul Savramis leaves the day-to-day operations to Rising Stars staff as he continues to work to further the fundraising and marketing efforts of the organization. For further information and contact numbers visit Rising Stars at Risingstarsinc.org

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