Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Coach: Kyrie Helping St. Pat’s, Harrington & Dalembert Not So Much
NEW YORK — Kyrie Irving is actively working to help his alma mater, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, out financially, but Al Harrington and Sam Dalembert are not, Celtics head coach Chris Chavannes told SNY.tv.
“We have faith that Kyrie will help St. Patrick,” Chavannes said, referring to the Cavaliers rookie point guard and the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft. “They have been very pro-active.”
The same is not true of St. Patrick alums Harrington, whom St. Pat’s principal Joe Picaro used to drive to school, and Dalembert, Chavannes said.
“Since they have been in the league, a number of consistent people who donate [to St. Patrick] have stopped because they all are under the assumption that these alums are giving back in a variety of ways,” Chavannes said.
Chavannes said St. Patrick — featured in the recent HBO documentary “Prayer For a Perfect Season” — is not in danger of closing but is in need of financial support.
“Our tuition is $5,500 and the cost to educate each child is $7,500,” he said. “In order to continue to give a quality education we need to raise the difference.”
After Harrington, now with the Denver Nuggets, scored 24 points Saturday night to help beat the Knicks, 119-114 in double-OT, I asked him if he or his foundation had donated anything to St. Patrick, where Harrington played under former coach Kevin Boyle.
“Not as of right now,” Harrington said. “But at the end of the day they’re part of the Archdiocese of Newark so they got more money than Al Harrington has, so they probably should step up and help those struggling schools. You know, St. Pat’s ain’t the only school struggling.”
He added: “I’m just saying it’s a Catholic school. They should help those schools out also. But I guess I heard there’s a lot of other things they’re dealing with outside of, that they’re spending their money on. So they should help them schools out because those schools really help and save a lot of kids’ lives.”
The Catholic church has had to spend money paying off sex abuse cases.
Harrington said St. Pat’s has not been in touch, but he would be willing to help fundraise for the school.
“They haven’t reached out to me yet,” he said. “I mean, I would help anything with fundraising. I think that instead of any school just asking for money, they should come with cute ways to get us involved ot help raise money instead of just asking for a check.
“I’m not saying that’s what they’re doing, but I think that would definitely help. But if they wanted to do something like that, I would do anything they need me to do.”
Chavannes said he and other school officials did try to reach out to Harrington but to no avail.
“We are happy to hear Al is willing to help with fundraisers because we had no idea he was still interesting in helping out,” Chavannes said. “As he said, he has not been in touch, his foundation has not given, he has not given in six years. It has been impossible to get in touch. We tried through his brother on Facebook.
“So this is very good, refreshing news because we are not expecting it, based on the previous evidence.”
As for Dalembert, now with the Sacramento Kings, Chavannes said he donated $7,000 “after his first year in the league,” but nothing since.
Marc Cornstein, Dalembert’s agent, did not respond to a request for comment.
Irving, in contrast, has offered to help the school, as first reported by SNY.tv in October.
“Kyrie and his dad [Drederick] are helping with the restructuring of the school,” Chavannes said. “They have already helped with fundraising and have committed to helping St. Patrick in a variety of ways.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.