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Northport’s ’95 championship team leads charge for new basketball court in Cow Harbor Park

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Doug Trani made lifelong friendships shooting hoops at Cow Harbor Park. This past year, he has strived for future generations to have the same opportunity.

Trani was the captain of Northport High School’s 1995 Long Island champs basketball team. Earlier this year, members of the team reunited to raise money to revamp the outdated Cow Harbor Park basketball court.

In conjunction with the Eaton’s Neck Youth Club, a not-for-profit, they launched a GoFundMe page with a $50,000 goal in July. The community already passed that benchmark and donations are still pouring in.

“We are incredibly grateful to the 228 donors who have to date contributed over $66,000 to refurbish the Northport Cow Harbor Basketball Court over the last four months,” Trani said.

The Village of Northport announced this week the procurement of a $75,000 State and Municipal Facilities (SAM) grant that will jumpstart the project.

“With the help of New York State Senator [James] Gaughran and his office, this project will be fully funded and will go from a dream on paper to reality for our community,” Village of Northport Trustee Dave Weber Jr. said in a press release.

The village also announced the project has received the green light, with construction slated to begin early 2022.

“I look forward to working with Trustee Weber and the Village Board in making this project a reality,” Gaughran said in the release. “It is my hope that community children will find this an inviting and safe space, while enjoying the beautiful surroundings Northport Village parks have to offer.”

The goal: kids on the court next fall

Trani, who has been working with professionals on the project’s design, said the court will cost approximately $150,000. The community is still contributing toward the cost. Should there be any funds left over, Trani said they will be used to maintain the new court.

He hopes to see kids playing on the new court by the fall of 2022.

While plans are not finalized, the former team captain said he wants to honor donors in some fashion at the park. He also said the court will be dedicated to John Kennedy, a Northport fixture who’s community service and passion for basketball inspired Trani and his teammates.

“My teammates and I are honored to give back to a community that supported us in our youth,” he said. “Dedicating the court to John Kennedy, a person so passionate about both basketball and helping others every day, will help us impart these important values in the next generation of players.”

Top: 1995 Northport High School basketball teammate Chris Wiebke, Senator Gaughran, team captain Trani and Village Trustee Weber Jr.