In their fourth annual charity basketball game, the young Democrats came back to win against the elected officials’ team, 43-36. It was the first victory ever for QCYD.
The big winner of the night was the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, the host of the event. According to QCYD President Stacey Eliuk, the game generated $1,000 in donations for the club.
She said they chose to donate to the club because of the “great work” they do for kids in western Queens.
“Here in western Queens, they work with folks from all different backgrounds, from all walks of life,” she said. “From people who live out in Ditmars and near the park to the people who live in Ravenswood and Astoria Houses.
“It’s that emphasis that they put on community and on everyone having a same shot that was exciting to us as an organization,” she added.
Eliuk noted during the game that the elected officials had won every year prior, which she chalked up to competitiveness. Despite the perceived age difference between the two teams, a lot of elected officials in Queens are “pretty young,” she said.
“I think it’s because in Queens, we try to give people an opportunity early on in life,” she said.
But when they get on the court, she said, it’s just another basketball game between two teams.
“A lot of times, the emphasis is on politics or a specific issue or on networking,” Eliuk said. “It’s good to have the opportunity to actually ground the organization in the reasons why we work in politics and government.
“It’s to benefit, in this case, kids who use the services here at the club and any of the nonprofits we’ve worked with in the past,” she added.
The elected officials took an early lead during the game heading into halftime. But the Young Democrats rallied back in the fourth quarter. They ultimately won by seven points.
While the elected officials’ team only had seven players, the QCYD team had a dozen players in their rotation. They kept their players fresh throughout the game.
After the loss, Assemblyman Brian Barnwell said their team lost because they didn’t make foul shots down the stretch.
“We didn’t make our shots, myself included,” he said. “Simple as that.”
He admitted their team was “a little bit tired” because of the smaller rotation, but it was no excuse for not making shots, he said. Barnwell said they play regularly up in Albany.
“Senators, assembly members, Republican, Democrat, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s fun.”
Before leaving, he took one last parting shot at the game’s referee for the amount of fouls the other team received.
“I think their ref was a young Dem,” Barnwell said, chuckling.