Queens basketball coach named Jr. NBA Coach of the Year

Coach Jason Curry (second from left) accepted his award at the Jr. NBA Youth Basketball Leadership Conference in Chicago. Former Knicks star Allan Houston (left) and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle (right) joined Curry and his mom Yvonne (second from right). Photo courtesy of Jr. NBA.

Coach Jason Curry (second from left) accepted his award at the Jr. NBA Youth Basketball Leadership Conference in Chicago. Former Knicks star Allan Houston (left) and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle (right) joined Curry and his mom Yvonne (second from right). Photo courtesy of Jr. NBA.

By Victoria Merlino

A top youth hoops coach from Queens was honored as Jr. NBA Coach of the Year on May 17, a prize that comes with a $5,000 donation to his nonprofit youth program.

Coach Jason Curry founded Big Apple Basketball in 1999 to facilitate basketball events and clinics, offer college scholarship programs and provide mentorship and management to local teams. The program prepares student athletes for college by helping them develop social skills, make connections and obtain scholarships, its website states.

Curry was honored at the Jr. NBA Youth Basketball Leadership Conference in Chicago for his work. Prior to starting Big Apple Basketball, Curry was a standout guard at Archbishop Molloy and Hillcrest High and a point guard at Mt. Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. He received a degree in journalism, and has worked as a college basketball color commentator, sideline reporter and television analyst for networks like News 12 Long Island, NY1 News, NBA Entertainment, CNN, WNBC-TV and WABC-TV.

Curry is no stranger to accolades: he was awarded the Jr. Knicks Coach of the Year Award, presented by Hospital for Special Surgery, in March.

"I've been blessed to have an amazing support system of friends and volunteers who have helped me live my vision and mission of Big Apple Basketball," Curry said in a statement. "There are so many great coaches and mentors in the New York City area who go unnoticed, that it's a privilege to even be recognized in this capacity."