Anchored By 1010 WINS’ Larry Mullins
Produced for 1010 WINS Radio by Sharon Barnes-Waters

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Kids in Mount Vernon are flocking to NewFlex Hoops, a mentoring and study hall program with a basketball twist.

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And it has everything to do with its founder, 1010 WINS’ Black History Month honoree Nesta Felix.

“We have been able to provide scholarships and summer camps and so much for the children,” Felix said.

Felix told 1010 WINS’ Larry Mullins she loves basketball, played it in college and coached the game extensively.

“I actually do still play,” Felix said.

More: Black History Month Photo Gallery | Larry’s Blog: Nesta Felix

But she loves kids even more. So after college and coaching she moved on to start NewFlex.

“We started first in looking to create leaders through basketball, particularly girls,” Felix said.

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But not anymore; now Felix and a team of mentors teach lessons on life, study, communication skills and build self-esteem in young girls and boys.

“As a coach you get tough with players but they know that you care about them. So this place has become a hub,” she said.

That hub operates inside the city’s Doles Recreation Center — a work space that got a complete makeover, including a new basketball court.

Web Extra: NewFlex Hoops

The organization also received a new vehicle to replace their ‘hoopty.’

“I had a truck load of 13 children and it’s really eight passenger, and so we looked like a circus car,” Felix said.

And NewFlex Hoops isn’t just fun and games. One mother told Mullins it’s work first, then hoops.

“Just to see him develop, it’s really wonderful. And she really has opened his eyes to a lot,” she said.

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“I absolutely know that it’s my purpose,” Felix said.