On November 4, 2017 Paul Savramis and the boys and girls of Rising Stars were honored to participate in the re-launch of the famous Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. The sports complex, built in 1972, was closed for renovations in 2015 and re-opened in April 2017. After getting the building ready for a full season, Nassau held her grand unveiling with thousands of adoring basketball fans, dozens of aspiring professional players, and at least one very special guest.
According to Paul Savramis, none other than Dr. J, Julius Irving, was on hand to watch the Long Island Nets on opening day against the Ants, a longtime rival team hailing from Indiana. Irving, now age 67, was recruited by the Nets in the coliseum’s original opening year. The 6’ 6” basketball legend grew up on Long Island, graduating from Roosevelt High School a few years prior to his first season with the Nets.
In addition to Irving, Don Ryan, a basketball coach, mentor, and local legend, was honored with a lifetime achievement award. Paul Savramis explains that Ryan was Irving’s coach more than 40 years ago and is partly responsible for Irving’s successful career, which includes several MVP awards.
Paul Savramis says the Nassau Coliseum is known for more than sports and reports that many sold out shows have been performed on the grounds throughout the last 45 years. Elvis Presley sold out four concerts at Nassau back in 1973 and the coliseum was one of just two American venues Pink Floyd visited during the band’s 1980 The Wall tour.
While the Barclay Center remains the jewel of Long Island, the Nassau Coliseum is another local treasure that stands out as a go-to venue. The two event centers share a common heritage now, says Paul Savramis, with the coliseum being re-designed by SHoP, the same firm responsible for Barclay’s iconic interior look.