In their 39th year as an organization, the Brooklyn USA Athletic Association is continuing their mission of serving the Brooklyn community and beyond.

The bond that brought the charter class of members together is still strong. That bond was sports, and in particular, the round ball game of basketball. Brooklyn USA has passed the game to over three generations of youth, both male and female.

Along the way, many in the organization who played and coached the game on the professional level have served as role models. Some of the greatest names in the history of basketball in New York, and in particular the borough of Brooklyn, have served and continue to serve the community of their youth. Their contributions to Brooklyn and the New York City community span just not the world of basketball, but their influence as educators as well.

Hank Whitney, the president of Brooklyn USA, after many years as a collegiate and professional basketball star, fast-braked his way into the New York City public school system, where he served for many years as an educator, rising to become a principal.

Brooklyn USA can count more than a score of their members who are educators as well as in other professional positions. On their 39th anniversary, held this year at the El Caribe Country Club, they have continued to reach back, encourage and financially assist community youth by providing scholarship assistance.

This year’s class of scholarship recipients included Christian Henderson, Rodnesha Diamond and Kamrie McKay. The scholarships are all named in honor of Brooklyn individuals who spent and dedicated their lives working with and assisting youngsters. And not to be overlooked are the likes of Rep. Ed Towns, Brooklyn Council Member Al Vann and Assemblyman Roger Green.

The AmNews salutes the work of Brooklyn USA and their members, past and present, who have continued to carry the torch of education.