Sept. 3, 2008
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's head men's basketball coach Norm Roberts officially announced the additions of head team manager/video coordinator Kimani Young and administrative assistant Oswald Cross to the Red Storm basketball staff. Both well-established youth coaches and New York City natives, Young and Cross join Roberts and the Red Storm immediately in administrative roles with the squad.
"I'm very excited about Kimani and Oswald joining us, who bring great energy and enthusiasm to St. John's. They are both New York City guys who have done great jobs in AAU and grassroots basketball. They have both really gotten involved in the lives of young people, not just with basketball, but also with the academic and social aspects of their players' lives as well," said Roberts. "They are both very hungry, and are excited to get their foot in the door in the business of college basketball."
As head team manager/video coordinator, Young will be responsible for a variety of administrative duties in the basketball office, taking on many responsibilities related to the program's day-to-day operations. Young's duties include assisting with team travel activities, overseeing video exchange with league opponents, scheduling practice and gym times, monitoring student-athlete academic matters, supervising the team's student-managers and serving as co-coordinator of the Norm Roberts Summer Basketball Camp.
Young, a Brooklyn native, comes to St. John's after serving as Athletic Director for the New Heights non-profit youth program in the Bronx since the fall of 2006. Much of Young's career has been spent working with New York City's youth, as his two previous stints include serving as Center Director for the NYC Police Athletic League's Wynn Center (2005-06) and as Assistant Center Director at the NYC PAL's Miccio Center (2001-05), both in Brooklyn. His extensive youth coaching experience includes guiding a 14-and-under AAU squad to a national championship in the summer of 2006.
A graduate of Texas-El Paso in 1998 with a B.A. in criminal justice, Young starred on the hardwood for UTEP and legendary coach Don Haskins from 1993-97. He finished his tenure with the Miners as one of only 22 all-time players to reach the 1,000-career point plateau. Young enrolled at UTEP after starring as an all-city performer for Forest Hills High School in Queens, earning honorable mention McDonald's All-America honors as a senior in 1992.
"Growing up close to campus in LeFrak City and being a St. John's fan all my life, I'm extremely excited to take this position," said Young. "To get an opportunity to enter the collegiate coaching profession at St. John's is a dream come true."
As the Red Storm staff's administrative assistant, Cross is responsible for an assortment of day-to-day operational duties within the program, including managing the team's community service and student-development initiatives, assisting with on-campus recruiting visits and prospective student-athlete mailers, maintaining non-conference video exchange, developing the team's video library and serving as co-coordinator of the Norm Roberts Summer Basketball Camp.
An accomplished AAU coach, Cross has been the mentor for two of the New York area's vaunted youth programs - the New York Panthers (2008) and the Long Island Lightning (2005-07). Cross served as head coach of Our Savior Lutheran High School in the Bronx from 2003-07, where his teams captured the New York City Private School Athletic Association (PSAA) regular season and postseason championships in 2004 and 2005, with his most-recent title-winner starring St. John's sophomore Justin Burrell.
For his efforts at Lutheran, Cross was named the PSAA Coach of the Year in 2004. Some of his former pupils at Lutheran and on AAU squads that have gone on to successful college careers include: Burrell, Brian Williams (Tennessee), Nick Murphy (Jacksonville State), Corey Fisher (Villanova), Jamal Womack (St. Francis) and Tyrone Nash (Notre Dame).
"I am excited to be coming to St. Johns, and joining Coach Roberts' staff with Kimani," said Cross, a native of the Bronx. "I like that we are getting a chance to be part of the rebuilding process and make an impact. We want to bring St. John's back to the top of the BIG EAST."