2016 Recipients: Paige Martin and Ty Blitstein
The Knicks recognized Paige Martin of Farragut Middle School in Hastings, New York and Ty Blitstein of Marlboro Middle School in Marlboro, New Jersey, as the 2016 Dave DeBusschere Award recipients. Both student-athletes have excelled in the classroom, on the basketball court and are involved in their community. Paige and Ty also embody the same heroic characteristics of the late, great Knicks Legend, Dave DeBusschere. This season, in celebration of their tremendous efforts at such a young age, the Knicks awarded the two students with a shopping spree at the NBA Store with Knicks Legend, Larry Johnson. They were then recognized on-court at the Knicks vs. Cavaliers game on Saturday, March 26th. During the on-court presentation, Peter and Dennis DeBusschere, sons of Dave DeBusschere, presented Paige and Ty with a personalized trophy, and a $2,000 donation to each of their basketball programs! Paige is very active in sports and currently plays on three AAU basketball teams, as well as one soccer team and one softball team. In addition to the amount of time she spends on athletics, she also maintains excellent marks in school and volunteers with members of her CYO Basketball team to make sandwiches and breakfast casseroles for the homeless. Paige's personal motto is to never quit and this has helped her stay focused on what's important.
Ty is a dedicated, straight A student-athlete, who is enrolled in several honors courses. In addition to being the recipient of multiple Student Awards this year, Ty is a committed member of the CJ Hawks basketball team. He takes his community involvement seriously and has helped with the New York City Hemophilia Chapter's annual charity walk for years. He also enjoys being on his school's peer-to-peer leadership program, where he educates younger students on drug and alcohol awareness.
2015 Recipients: Shantasia Jeffrey and Babacar Tall
The New York Knickerbockers recognized Shantasia Jeffrey of Curtis HS on Staten Island and Babacar Tall of Democracy Prep Charter HS in Harlem, as the 2015 Dave DeBusschere Award recipients. Both students excelled in the classroom, on the basketball court and in the community, and have exemplified the same heroic characteristics that the late Knicks Legend Dave DeBusschere carried throughout his life. They were presented the award by Petere DeBusschere, oldest son of the late Dave DeBusschere at the Knicks vs. Milwaukee game on April 10th, 2015.
Shantasia is a well-rounded student athlete who has strong leadership skills, a great work ethic, and a fearless approach to success. Shantasia was the recipient of the Curtis High School Sportsmanship Award as a member of the schools' girls' basketball and softball teams. She spends her summers mentoring and teaching younger kids the fundamentals of basketball and aspires to go to college and study Criminology, with hopes of becoming a police officer.
Babacar epitomizes what it means to be a scholar, athlete and leader amongst his peers. Aside from excelling tremendously on the court and in the classroom, Babacar works at a local elementary school mentoring young men who are being bullied and struggle with their academics. He helps enhance their confidence and assists them with their studies. In addition, he spearheaded a tutoring program at Hugo Newman College Preparatory School. This fall, Babacar will be attending Wheaton College in Norton, MA, as a Posse Foundation scholarship recipient, to further his education.