‘Ballin’ to Protect Young Hearts’ at McClancy (with video)

On June 8 at Msgr. McClancy M.H.S., East Elmhurst, the Dominic A. Murray 21 Memorial Foundation hosted its annual youth basketball competition entitled “Ballin’ to Protect Young Hearts.”

Six teams from Long Island and Queens participated as the foundation continues to spread its message of the importance of raising awareness on sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) among youth.

Dominic Murray was a standout basketball star at McClancy. However, on Oct. 5, 2009, he passed away from SCA while playing an open pickup game at Farmingdale State College, L.I. It was his opening night game, and he was just 17 years old.

Dominic Murray's former teammates help Mrs. Melinda Murray present McClancy basketball coach Donald Kent with the Dominic A. Murray 21 Memorial Foundation's Coach of the Year Award.
Dominic Murray’s former teammates help Mrs. Melinda Murray present McClancy basketball coach Donald Kent with the Dominic A. Murray 21 Memorial Foundation’s Coach of the Year Award.

In February, 2010, Dominic’s mother Melinda Murray started the DomHeart21 foundation. She made it her life mission to prevent other families from experiencing the same tragedy that became her reality.

The foundation seeks to equip schools, non-profit and youth-serving organizations with automatic external defibrillators (AED), provide free certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and offer free community heart screening programs for youth and young adults.

Currently, the foundation is working to pass two pieces of legislation that would make heart screening in youth athletes mandatory before participation in sports and would make it mandatory for each youth sports team to have an AED at all times.

SCA is the leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming one life every three days. With that in mind, the foundation held its basketball classic as part of CPR/AED Awareness Week. The condition can affect both athletes and non-athletes alike.

The foundation celebrated several notable milestones in 2013. Over 2,100 people have been trained in CPR in the foundation’s three-year existence – Dominic wore No. 21. Also, 1,200 young hearts have been screened for potentially life-threatening cardiac issues – 12 is Dominic’s number reversed. Dominic would have been 21 years old this year.

To also honor Dominic’s number, the foundation offers $2,100 scholarships to both McClancy and Farmingdale State College.

At the basketball classic, the foundation honored long-time McClancy head varsity basketball coach Donald Kent. Coach Kent was Dominic’s coach when he played for the Crusaders.

Coach Kent was presented with the foundation’s “Coach of the Year” award for his three decades of dedicated service to youth basketball. He has been a “Coach, Mentor and Friend” to the foundation and has been extremely supportive in helping the foundation achieve its mission.

On Nov. 2, the foundation will host its “Heart 2 Heart, Red Dress, Red Tie Affair” from 12-5 p.m. at Russo’s on the Bay, Howard Beach. Gala tickets are $100, and all proceeds benefit the foundation.

Contact Melinda Murray at 347-738-6266 or for more information.