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June 24, 2008

Mt. Vernon Knights Face Extinction

Just call it the possible end of an era. The demise of the Mount Vernon Knights basketball program maybe felt as early as this fall 2008.

As most know, today's recession is being felt on all levels and now the trickle down effect has happen. According to a story in the Journal News, the school is in a budget crisis the district is having trouble. In the story, there are talks of eliminating sports which would save the district a $1.1 million.

This budget cut would mean teacher layoffs and the end of funds to a sports program that has produced so many elite players over the years. The program boasts notable players Ben Gordon, Gus Williams, Ray Williams, Earl Tatum, Rodney McCray, Rudy Hackett, Jonathan Mitchell, Dexter Gray, Keith Benjamin, Mike Coburn, Kevin Jones, and Chris Lowe to name a few.

NYCHoops spoke with Mount Vernon's coach Bob Cimmino who said, "We are desperately hoping that the Mount Vernon community rallies behind us. The city of Mount Vernon would not be the same place without basketball, so many young lives will be hurt by the end of our program."

So if this program ends as early as this fall like predicted look for many student athletes to transfer out of Mount Vernon.

Throughout the years, Mount Vernon's basketball program has won Sectional Titles from 1967, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. PHSAA Titles 1978, 1979, 1981, 1991, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2007. Federation Titles 1991, 2000, 2004 and 2006.

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