Many bits of information pass through this publication daily and there is always the question, come press time, of what to leave in and what to leave out. When I saw that Nnamdi Anuforo was selected by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Westchester as the 2008 Youth of the Year, my smile widened and my eyes went to a wall in our office with a picture of Nnamdi on it. The picture reveals a young Nnamdi (not that he’s ancient at 18) with my son Adrian. The two of them played a ferocious game of soccer for an AYSO team called the Rattlers – Nnamdi by covering every part of the playing field with incredible speed, determination and a ton of skill to put the ball in the back of the net. My son, Adrian, a gritty goalkeeper, complemented Nnamdi’s offensive efforts, by keeping balls out of the back of our net. Under some exceptional coaching offered by Tom DiLorenzo, who teaches at the Washington Irving Intermediate School, the Rattlers went undefeated for 1 1/2 years of fall and spring play. They were eleven years old at the time.
For most away games I would pick up Nnamdi at his home in Franklin Courts, then drive over to Cortlandt Street and pickup Seryo, a prolific goal scorer. Adrian, Nnamdi and Seryo would speak only sparingly before the game but afterwards it was another story and many of them. Main Street Sweets was a regular stop to celebrate each-other and another victory. More importantly it was a precious time for the boys to laugh and be seen by all in their soccer uniforms.
At eighteen, Nnamdi Anuforo is a five-year Boys & Girls Club member.
Top: Nnamdi and Adrian
He is also a senior at Sleepy Hollow High School. The particulars of his life reflect a roller coaster ride on the home front, according to the press release we received. When a friend took him to the Club, Nnamdi’s life took on a more orderly appearance and he developed "a sense of responsibility and awareness beyond himself," according to one teacher. He put it simply by saying, "The Boys & Girls Club has truly changed my life for the better. Without the Club, I don’t know where I would be right now. My future endeavors will be shared with my Club, and I will strive to help it advance as it has helped me."
Nnamdi will receive $14,000 in scholarships from four organizations and he will be honored with the Youth of the Year Award on Saturday, June 7 at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club where the Club’s 14th annual Humanitarian Award Dinner will be held.
Congratulations Nnamdi! I can close my eyes and see you flying over the field with a ball on the end of your foot. Adrian says, “Keep playing your ‘A’ game.”