A few weeks ago, Nick Fasulo shuttered the doors of Searching for Billy Edelin, a blog dedicated to all things college basketball. Despite not actually being a Syracuse Orange fan, Nick chose the enigmatic SU guard's name to represent the search for the stories buried below the surface of the sport, such as, what the heck ever happened to Billy Edelin?
Nick eventually completed his search, meeting Edelin and his father, William, Sr in 2011. Since then he's kept in touch and become a genuine friend with William Sr. Through that friendship, Nick learned about about the Hoops Haven Gym Ratz Skill Development Group, which is run in part by Billy Edelin.
Below is some more background on this special group from Nick, why it matters and how you might be able to help.
Some of you may know me, others may not have a clue.
For nearly the past four years, I've run the mildly fun and enjoyable "Searching for Billy Edelin" college basketball blog here on SB Nation.
While the blog wasn't given its name as part of a feeble attempt to get the attention of a former Orange guard, that meet and greet did occur in the fall of 2011.
Since then, I've kept a great relationship with Billy and his father, William Sr. and if you've read my story on Finding Billy Edelin, you know that a member of the 2003 National Championship winning team has turned his life around and is doing some fantastic stuff with a number of budding young basketball stars in upstate New York.
Named the Hoops Haven Gym Ratz Skill Development Group, Billy and his co-founder Gil Speights have grown the program from individual and group skill workouts to coaching a handful of both boys and girls travel teams. They even worked with big man DaJuan Coleman!
The program is recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization and is also an official subordinate organization of the AAU.
This all sounds great, sure. But as you know, traveling costs money, and whlie the Gym Ratz are receiving invitations to more and more tournaments around the country, that doesn't necessarily mean that there's always enough financing to sign up and compete.
On behalf of Billy and his father, I'm here to spread awareness of the Gym Ratz to a large and engaged audience like TNIAAM in an attempt to raise a few dollars for a real cause.
Perhaps we can help the program out together and eliminate missed opportunities for kids looking to get in front of college coaches and hopefully earn a degree.
I promise you, while hoops is the catalyst, education is highly valued by the Gym Ratz.
Feel free to contact me directly and fasulo.n at gmail dot com if you have any questions regarding funding for the Gym Ratz program. I'd be happy to further discuss the program and share everything I know.