Tag Archives: Jordan Schur

Unsung Heroes #170

Growing up in Westport, Jordan Schur spent plenty of time at the Westport Weston Family YMCA.

He still lives here. Now he’s a father. Jordan writes:

I want to express thanks and gratitude for the YMCA staff in the before/after- school childcare programs.

The pandemic has brought challenges to every family. For a 2-parent working household like ours, the Y has been a lifesaver. Let me highlight what an amazing resource they have been.

Westport’s elementary schools meet 2 hours and 45 minutes of in-school teaching each day, either morning or afternoon.

This leaves a lot of unaccounted-for hours, including kids’ “specials” (gym, art, music, Spanish) and homework.

This is just one area where the YMCA has been incredible. The staff helps kids log into their computers to do their specials, and provides them with materials and assistance.

The staff also helps kids with their homework in fun and creative ways, like turning sight words into artistic clouds that my wife and I would never have thought of even in normal times.

The Westport Y’s childcare program includes school help …

Then there are great extracurricular activities like swimming. The staff ensures they are there on time, as well as helping with lunches, the bus routine of getting to and from school, and countless other things they do every day that parents never hear about.

Heading into the school year, we had concerns about how our daughter would keep up with her work, and how she could participate in daily “specials” without a parent to help her.

The YMCA stepped up, figured it out, and has been beyond accommodating.  Their responsiveness to concerns is a model for any customer service business, and their attention to each child’s individual needs is refreshing.

With adjustments to the pool because of the latest COVID outbreak, the staff has taken special notice that there is less time for our daughter to get ready to swim. They ensure she is changed prior to her “special,” so she can get to her lesson on time.

Little things like that allow my wife and I to do our work, without having to sit distracted and concerned about how our daughter is managing.

And taking children for full Wednesdays when school is not in session, as well as school holidays, is a great solution to the constant juggling act of kid logistics.

… and fun, in the new gymnastics studio.

So thank you to the whole YMCA team. I would highlight individuals, but I know how big a team it is to make everything described above come true. I don’t want to leave anyone out.

We are grateful for the role you have filled in our community. With so much uncertainty about the future, having a daily rock like your team is beyond reassuring.

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Email dwoog@optonline.net)

$1 Million Hoop Dreams

There are a few ways to make $1 million in basketball.

You can be an NBA star, which pretty much means planning before birth to have 7-foot parents.

You can win your NCAA bracket, which pretty much means having as much luck as having 7-foot parents.

Or you can win The Tournament. That’s the path a pair of Westporters hope plan to take.

The Tournament is a 5-on-5, winner-take-all event. There is no entry free. 18 teams, in each of 4 US regions, are selected by fan votes. Another 6 in each region get at-large bids.

The winning team earns $950,000. The other 5% goes to its fans — including $5,000 to the fan who recruits the most other fans.

Jordan Schur

Jordan Schur

Jordan Schur was in the Tournament stands last year, in Philadelphia. The 2001 Staples graduate — a former Wrecker basketball (and soccer) star, who went on to an impressive hoops career at Union College — was impressed by the level of play, and the professional uniforms, refereeing and organization.

For the past year, he’s plotted how to get in. He knew he could put together a team of guys he plays with, in his regular 5:30-7 a.m. game.

But he graduated from college 10 years ago. The more he thought about it, the more Schur realized that, as general manager, he could form a much better squad.

That is not an idle idea. Schur became a FIBA-certified international basketball agent in 2011. It was a hobby — in real life he’s a lawyer — but he enjoyed placing American players with overseas teams.

John DiBartolomeo, in Spain.

John DiBartolomeo, in Spain.

One of the players he knew of was John DiBartolomeo. In 2009, Schur tried to recruit the Staples standout for Union. DiBartolomeo ended up at the University of Rochester — where he earned 1st team All-America honors, and was named Division III National Player of the Year.

After graduating, he signed a professional contract in Spain — and in his 1st season was named MVP of the 3rd Division league. This year’s he’s in the 2nd Division.

In February, Schur sent out feelers to a few players. DiBartolomeo leaped at the idea. He sent Schur a list of top players from overseas. Schur has signed up 7 so far, including guys from Japan, Israel and Egypt.

He’ll find 3 more players. It’s unlikely any others will have a Staples connection.

But “06880” readers can still be involved. The more fans Schur’s team has, the more chance they’ll have of being able to compete for that $1 million.

And remember: fans share in the prize money. There’s up to $5,000 in it for you.

Just click this link:  https://www.thetournament.com/teams/team-krossover

It’s a far easier way to make money than playing in the NBA. Or even filling out a bracket.