Nugent became the first in his family to earn an associate degree in May and is looking forward to the next chapter in his life. At UMES, he will use basketball to further his career and one day play professionally. The South Street native also has plans to be more than an athlete. By earning his Bachelor’s in Exercise Science at UMES, he will use it to work in player development or work for an athletic department.
Nugent wants his journey to be used as an inspiration.
“I know I’m extremely blessed,” Nugent added. “You could look at everything that happened before. A lot of people haven’t done that. I took a lot away from my community and now I can give back to the youth. Ultimately that’s what I do it for. For the people that think it’s over, they think they’re clock has run out, but it’s never too late.”
Comfort Children’s Ministry
From Fraser to Frazier
George Frazier stands alone as a symbol of hope in a community marred by the social pathologies that plague inner cities throughout the country. His commitment to the enrichment of the Newburgh youth is unparalleled. For decades, Frazier has exhausted his resources to provide vital services for an underrepresented demographic, without proper recognition for his efforts. George Frazier’s servitude to his community has manifested into opportunities for many youths in the City of Newburgh. He works continuously to improve the socioeconomic standing of the next generation of leaders in the City of Newburgh, while an indifferent broader community distances itself from the situation . George Frazier has: consistently assisted students in their quest to pursue institutions of higher education, clashed with employers to obtain employment opportunities for those in need, and provided valuable resources for individuals to pursue personal endeavors. George Frazier has been instrumental in my success as a student- athlete from- the moment I began attending his various youth camps- through my tenure at Columbia University.
Frazier has provided enrichment services and employment opportunities for countless individuals over the years through his parent organization Hoops Express. As a Gidney Avenue Magnet School attendee I frequented various summer camps hosted by Hoops Express. These camps provided athletic tutorials along with instilling values and discipline into the participants. During my stint as high school student, I competed as an All-State football player, Section 9 shot put champion, and honor roll student. Along with my academic and athletic commitments, I worked within Frazier’s Hoops Express organization; however, now I was a member of the counseling team sharing my experiences as a past participant in the program and providing positive mentorship through my academic and athletic accomplishments.
George Frazier’s commitment toward the educational advancement of Newburgh youth has afforded me the opportunity to attend and succeeded at an Ivy League university. His countless efforts to provide the necessary resources for students to excel have gone underappreciated by the broader community, until now. Thank you for all the support that you have provided throughout the years; from one Fraser to another.Owen Fraser
Newburgh Free Academy ‘07
Trinity- Pawling Prep School ‘08
Columbia University ‘12
The Game of Basketball
The game of basketball has paved the way for where I stand now. It has provided me with opportunities that didn’t seem possible outside the urban neighborhood of Newburgh NY, and opened my eyes to realize dreams into realities. The game has most certainly become a staple to whom and what I am today.
Growing up in Newburgh undoubtedly has its ups and downs with the latter being more prevalent. The neighborhood, stricken by crime and poverty, doesn’t offer much positive gateways to the youth and their future, so when a small window of opportunity presents itself its best if you take full advantage of it. This window presented itself to me in the form of basketball. I remember growing up with folks always saying “you’re so tall for your age, you should play ball” or “I hope you’re putting that height to use”, but it wasn’t till the summer of my 6th grade year that I decided to give it a chance.
I would head out to the basketball court with my brothers and his friends and just play around with them, picking up little things here and there about the game. It wasn’t till after meeting Coach George Frazier of Hoops Express at the basketball court that I realized I can make something out of this. I joined his youth summer league program that year, one of the few girls playing, and remember being scared out of mind. Coach Frazier, day in and day out, would work on teaching me the fundamentals of the game from footwork in the post, to proper shooting techniques. My height always played to my advantage, even against the guys, and he taught me to use that. I would hear him on the sideline of games yelling “Swat anything that comes in there Siamone,” and that I tried to do!! I tried to block every shot I can.
I recall one day in particular that I expressed my desire to get to college, and Coach Frazier encouraging me that this can take my there. I can honestly look back at that day and realize that that was a pivotal moment in my life. It was then that I decided to give basketball all I got. I tried to play every chance I got, taking advantage of all the youth leagues the neighborhood had to offer. My big chance came at a 2-day camp Coach Frazier put together with special guest Bill Bayno. After this camp, I was suggested to visit Bryant University where the Head Women’s Basketball coach waited for my arrival. I was later offered a full scholarship to play basketball at the university.
My basketball skills was challenged even more at the Division I level, witch Coach Mary Burke pulling the best out of me. I received a number of accolades at the school both on and off the court, and landed a coaching job upon graduation at the university as the Director of Basketball Operations. The position afforded me a chance to get my MBA, as a graduate assistant, while remaining close to the game. Looking back at it, it was people like Coach Frazier and Hoops Express that really allowed me to see my true potential.Siamone Bennett