Amos Ryan, a former high school and collegiate basketball star from Union Island who is now a New York City police officer, received the Max Cure Foundation’s Roar Beyond Barriers Award from Ed Petrie, his former coach here, at the foundation’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament and carnival at the Ross School Saturday.
The Ryans — Amos, his wife, Canela, their 14-year-old daughter, Manijeh, and 13-year-old son, Jalen, who live in Medford — have been among a number of families contending with pediatric cancer who have received help from the foundation, which is overseen by Richard Plotkin of New York and Amagansett and his son, David.
When questioned, Ryan, whom Coach Petrie helped turn into one of East Hampton’s most imposing rebounders — he went on to be nationally ranked in that category as a collegian — said his daughter, who in the recent past underwent treatment for brain cancer, was “doing better. The chemotherapy is over, the cancer is gone, which is good, but she’s still on medication, and she still has seizures. . . . The prognosis is pretty good. . . .”
Families facing such challenges had to “stay positive,” Manijeh’s father said after Petrie, whom he had seen only once since graduating from East Hampton High in 1994, presented him with the aforementioned plaque, which cited him for his honor, bravery, integrity, and the unconditional love he’d shown his family and community.
As had his friend Adonal Foyle, the former Colgate and N.B.A. center, Ryan came to this country as a teenager, assured that he’d have a place to live in East Hampton, only to find on his arrival that the offer proffered by a yachting couple was less solid than he’d thought. After bouncing around a bit, the Griesmer family, whose son, John, was a teammate of Ryan’s here, took him in, and he lived with them for seven years.
Petrie said that, contrary to what often happens, the broad-shouldered, 6-foot-3-inch newcomer — “with a smile as broad as his shoulders” — was welcomed by the whole community right off the bat.
“The first year, Amos averaged six points and seven rebounds a game,” said his former coach. “The next year, he averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds. We went 15-5 that year and Amos made the all-league and all-conference teams. . . . For his size, he was one of best rebounders I’ve ever had. He was 6-3, but he rebounded as if he were 6-6 or 6-7. People would just fly off him.”
Later, Petrie said, “He and his family are undergoing a big challenge. Hopefully, they’ll get through this. . . . He’s a great kid, he’s done so well.”
Concerning the Ryans’ son, Jalen, Petrie added, “He’s only an eighth grader, but he looks like a player.”
Amos Ryan, himself, played in the Max Cure Foundation’s hotly contested 3-on-3 basketball tournament that day, on courts set up adjacent to Ross’s Har-Tru tennis courts.
There were age group divisions ranging from 7 to 10-year-olds to 45-plus.
Nick Thomas, who oversees a large group of Amateur Athletic Union teams at the Southampton Recreation Center, brought along 75 players. Dave Morgan Brown, who coaches at the Dwight School in New York City and oversees a youth basketball development program there, brought along a team of former Division 1 college players, including a former N.B.A. player, Erick Barkley, who, needless to say, went undefeated in the All-Star division.