Dec 7, 2021

Ray McGuire and Crystal McCrary McGuire

Ray McGuire & Crystal McCrary McGuire


The Riverside Hawks 60th Anniversary Gala was held at the landmark Plaza Hotel in the Terrace Room.

The red carpet event welcomed honoree BET’s CEO Scott M. Mills, NBA Champion Metta World Peace, “Coach of the Year” Hector Almodovar, Bank of America Executive Maurice Coleman, and longtime Coach Dermon.  The Master of Ceremony is a multi-award-winning journalist, reporter, and CBS-2 News anchor, Maurice DuBois.

Academy Award-winner and his wife, producer, entrepreneur, and advocate for women and infant health, Tonya Lewis Lee were Honorary Co-Chairs and were there in spirit.  DJ Quick was the master of the music for the evening.  The gala took place on December 7, 2021.

Together, in partnership with students, parents, educators, and coaches, the program is able to build a strong support system for its young people, providing the necessary tools needed to ensure success both on and off the court.   The program’s value is vested as much in the academic initiatives it provides, as in the strength of its basketball training.  Riverside offers real support through free tutoring programs, high school placement support, and SAT/ACT PREP and Writing Classes for college applicants.  In addition, Riverside Hawks have partnerships with important organizations like Mt. Sinai to provide internships that allow minority youth an opportunity to explore their interest in Medicine.  There is also the Leadership Academy to help increase interest and familiarity with STEM, and the Saturday Night Lights program offering free basketball instructions on Saturdays to over 40 kids each week from Harlem, the Bronx, and Washington Heights.

During the honoree awards ceremony, an elegant dining setting was the backdrop for dinner.  The menu featured mini cheese tarts as appetizers, filet mignon, and broccolini paired with red and white wine.   Honoree awards were presented by longtime friends and special guests.

BET’s Scott M. Mills, who was recently promoted to Chief Executive Officer of the Networks, received his award from long-time friend and colleague Erika Irish Brown; Maurice Coleman, Market Executive for Commercial Real Estate Banking, Bank of America received his award from TIAA CEO Derek Ferguson. NBA superstar, entrepreneur, and Mental Health advocate, Metta World Peace, a one-time Riverside Hawk, was this year’s Alumni Honoree.  All three men were examples of the power of leadership and teamwork in building and caring for the community and reflected the foundational tenets of the organization.

Longtime coach Dermon Player was inducted into the Riverside Hawks Hall of Fame, and award-winning film and television producer, Crystal McCrary-McGuire and her husband Ray McGuire, who reminded attendees, jokingly, about his failed Mayoral bid, proved himself an eloquent and dynamic speaker, as he presented the “Coach of the Year” award to youth coach, Hector Almodóvar.