For the last three years, Derek Phillips, a New York City assistant principal, father and founder of the Real Dad’s Network, has worked on his dream of combining several New York based fatherhood initiatives to establish the Real Dad’s Week—the entire eight days or so before Father’s Day.

Along with the Real Dad’s Network, Phillips has joined with the Responsible Fatherhood Coalition, Bronx Fathers Taking Action, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Fathers Alive in the Hood, Staten Island Community Partnership, Brooklyn Fatherhood Partnership and the Fathers and Men of Professional Basketball Players, Inc.

As a part of this event, Thursday, June 13, several families in southeast Queens received a gift three days in advance of Father’s Day. FAM members traveled from as far as Portland and Las Vegas to Renaissance Middle School (IS 192) and Pathways Prep which occupy the same building on Hollis Avenue between 204th St. and RUN DMC Grandmaster Flash Way in St. Albans paying for their own hotel rooms and airfare. Present were Charles Paul, FAM president and father of NBA Player’s Union president and Houston Rocket guard, Chris Paul; Ed Gordon, father of Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic; Drew Gordon of the Long Island Nets from the G League; Lance Stephenson, father of Lance Jr. of the Los Angeles Lakers; Anthony Randolph, father of Anthony Jr. from Real Madrid of the Euroleague; Marvin Williams, father of Marvin Williams Jr. of the Charlotte Hornets; Karl Anthony Towns, father of Karl Jr. of the Minnesota Timberwolves; and Rod Ivey, father of Royal Ivey, NY Knicks assistant coach and former student at IS 192.

Session I was a basketball clinic conducted by Defending Your Dream, Inc. which is Royal’s neighborhood foundation and athletic trainers from Game Over, Inc. Session II, a discussion and Q&A including 150 fathers, sons and family members featured the FAM and was moderated by the Rev. Alfonso Wyatt, founder of Strategic Destinies, Inc. and a minister at the Greater Allen Cathedral, Inc.

Principal Harriet Diaz and her staff made the participants welcome with a savory meal and presented a resource fair including the NYC Child Support Office of Advocacy and Outreach, CUNY Fatherhood Academy, Forestdale Fathering Partnership, Lena’s Library and Hollis Local Development Corp. Gifts were furnished by Allan Houston Foundation Jr. NBA, NBPA and the Knicks.