In 1996, Paul Savramis founded Rising Stars, an organization that helps youth by enrolling them into positive programs and keeping them enrolled and engaged in activities throughout high school. His vision of offering positive alternatives to the many challenges that kids will face throughout the formative years year-round has followed Rising Stars through its success today, achieving recognition from many of the nation’s leaders and celebrities.
The vision began when Paul Savramis realized sports, specifically basketball, provided a perfect backdrop for youth to learn some of the most important educational/life lessons and values they can. Through Rising Stars’ camps clinics, and teams Paul Savramis has taught kids skills in basketball and, more importantly, in life. Becoming a “team player”, the mentality stressed in Rising Stars, translated into other areas, like schoolwork, community service, the importance of family values and, later, career success.
Paul Savramis’ “Whiz Kids” began capturing nationwide attention as a way to reach out and inspire youth with a positive message soon after he founded the organization. The Whiz Kids appeared on The Johnny Carson Show and were invited to appear at basketball camp with Michael Jordan. Many alumni from Rising Stars went on to find great success in high school, college sports and in business. Some progressed on to professional basketball but all went on to graduate HS and attend college. The vision of using basketball to help get into the college of choice was one that Paul Savramis continues to emphasize.
The foundation for Paul Savramis’ work with Rising Stars began during his time in college, where he learned to tie education and sports together. Savramis obtained his Master’s degree from Queens College, where he majored in physical education with a minor in child psychology.
In addition to its regular programs, Rising Stars offers basketball camps for others. As Paul Savramis explains, these basketball camps in some cases last only one day but the value remains throughout the year. One organization that came to Rising Stars to help them attract children from more diverse backgrounds was the Boy Scouts OF America. The concept was the idea of Trey Fergusson a former Rising Stars Whiz Kid. The program was a great success and was embraced nationally .Rising Stars also is the mainstay of the basketball camp offerings of Long Island Lutheran, the nation’s largest summer program.
Paul Savramis has set up these camps so that there is one coach to every five children, giving participants an intensive day of lessons that can vastly improve their abilities in basketball.
During his time as director of basketball for Rising Stars , Paul Savramis arranged for greats like Magic Johnson and Steve Nash to show up for Rising Stars’ camps. Being able to work with coaches who are also sports heroes leaves an indelible mark on young players, Paul Savramis has seen.
Many other basketball camps around the world have emulated the structure of the clinics set up by Paul Savramis. Rising Stars seeks to provide a safe place for children to learn to play and interact with each other, according to Paul Savramis. In many ways, these basketball camps provide youths a constructive outlet for their collective energies. The goal of Paul Savramis for Rising Stars has always been to bring children from diverse backgrounds together in an effort to enhance their physical and mental well-being.
Still, Paul Savramis emphasizes the importance of fun in everything Rising Stars does. While the skills taught in Rising Stars are important, it’s also important that children be doing something they love, Paul Savramis believes. In the end, Rising Stars provides an important outlet on many levels for any child who has an interest in athletics. The interest begins with athletics but grows to include interests in so much more.