The Long Island Nets basketball team hosted the first Town of Islip Night on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at NYCB Live Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. Islip residents were eligible for two free tickets to Wednesday night’s game against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
Additionally, Navy veteran and Islip resident Carol Squatrito was recognized as Long Island Nets’ Veteran of the Game during a break in the latter half of the game.
Islip Town supervisor Angie Carpenter spoke at halftime and recognized 40 high school students from Youth Enrichment Services.
“They want a community organization to honor, so we have kids from Youth Enrichment Services and certainly Quackerjack from the Ducks,” Carpenter said. “They have been so community-oriented. We thought that it was a good fit.”
Carpenter said the town was approached about the idea of Town of Islip Night and expressed it behooved the town to accept the offer. Islip was the first town night celebrated thus far.
“They just really get into wanting it to be a good experience for the family,” Carpenter added. “Minor league sports are so geared to entertainment. They really focus, as the Long Island Ducks do, on things for kids — making it very family friendly.”
Long Island Nets vice president of business operations, Alton Byrd, said he sees the success that the Ducks have culminated and strives to emulate their success, particularly involving family entertainment.
“The ethos behind town nights is to celebrate the fact they are Long Island's team and understand that Long Island is a good place and that every town is unique. Islip is different than Huntington, different than Smithtown, different than the Town of North Hempstead,” said Byrd, a former professional basketball player. “We just want to celebrate and honor each town and the residents of those towns, and make sure they know we are Long Island's team, and we are really happy to be involved with it.”