Stoudemire giving back to the game

Amare Stoudemire is quickly turning into a folk hero in New York. Not only has he led the Knicks back to respectability with an MVP-worthy season, he's also giving back to the New York city community -- this time in an attempt to give less fortunate kids a chance to play on their own "court of dreams."

Courts Of Dreams is a non-profit organization started by NBA agent Marc Cornstein and his wife Natasha. When the organization started in 2008, I agreed to sit on their advisory board and have been really impressed with the progress they've made in just two years.

Court of Dreams' mission is to "restore and maintain outdoor basketball courts for children in NYC neighborhoods and around the world fostering healthy, safe communities while promoting the values of basketball such as teamwork, mutual respect and leadership."

This past summer Court of Dreams completed the restoration of four outdoor courts in the Washington Heights neighborhood and the previous summer opened its first court in the Bronx. The group is currently working on two additional courts that will open in the summer of 2011.

To support the cause, Stoudemire and Toney Douglas have agreed to come out and support the Courts of Dreams 3rd Annual Family Day on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 from 3 to 5 pm at the Knicks Practice Facility in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The kids who attend the event get a chance to play with Stoudemire and Douglas and ask questions ... all for a great cause. The afternoon includes an on-court clinic, photos, games, pizza, a performance by the Knicks City Dancers and a surprise visit from a Knicks legend.

Proceeds benefit the Courts of Dreams Foundation. To purchase tickets or to make a donation please go to courtsofdreams2011.eventbrite.com or call 212-832-2910. The city of New York matches all contributions … dollar-for-dollar.