Montclair Magazine Holiday 2021 - Page 20

sports
BASKETBALL DIARIES Adam Harrington dunks as amember of the Auburn Tigers in 2001 ; sharing alaugh with Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin before agame with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016 ; getting ready for agame at The Barclays Center .
Harrington says it brought things “ full circle ” to have Nash at the Sneaker Soiree , a fundraiser for JEHH Memorial Fund . The inaugural event in this area was held at Glen Ridge Country Club in September ; guests included Blake Griffin , Bruce Brown and Joe Harris of the Nets , as well as Sabrina Ionescu of the WNBA ’ s New York Liberty , PGA golfer Jason Dufner and former NFL players Jason Campbell and Justin Trattou of Franklin Lakes .
“ Some people drove hours and hours to get here , so it just shows how much support and love there is for Adam , Jill and the foundation . We ’ re all happy to be here ,” Nash told NetsDaily , a Brooklyn blog .“ I knew Jill . She was an amazing person and we lost her , tragically . For Adam to continue to have acause in her name is important for him , the family and everyone that knew her . … It ’ s a sad thing , but it ’ s also a beautiful thing as well .” Harrington says the event raised the profile of the charity , whose latest project is rebuilding the
basketball courts at Colgate Park in Orange .
“ Obviously , raising money is very important , but I wanted to let people know that we exist , and we ’ re wanting to do more in the surrounding communities to give back ,” says Harrington .
The goal of the foundation ’ s projects is to create experiences with what Harrington calls “ goose bump moments .” One year , the fund helped pay travel expenses for a group of cheerleaders from Alaska to perform at a college football bowl game in Florida . More recently , it partnered with Tim Tebow ’ s foundation to build a community center and basketball court in Haiti .“ We ’ re the basketball court ,” Harrington is quick to point out . “ He [ Tebow ] is the bigger part of that give-back .”
Harrington also points out that there is a double meaning behind the JEHH Memorial Fund ’ s slogan . “ Jill ’ s little baby boy , his name was going to be Chase , so we kind of adapted this ‘ Chase your dreams ’ slogan ,” he says .
Harrington and his wife , Kearstin , have three boys : 14-year-old Jayden , a freshman at Seton Hall Prep ; Jaxon , 9 and Jonah , 7 . Four years ago , alittle girl came along , and the Harringtons naturally decided to name her Jill . Of the quartet , only Jayden was around for any portion of his dad ’ s playing career . “ He ’ slived inthree different countries and spoke three different languages at one point ,” Adam says . “ He was 7days old , and we flew him to Croatia , because I had a contract ( to play ) in Zagreb .”
Once Adam ’ s playing days were over , he still needed a way to provide for his burgeoning family , so he got into private coaching . His first client ? “ I started training a middle-school girl for $ 25 an hour and grew it into this kind of business .”
Eventually , he took on a client who later boomeranged back into his life just as Nash did .
“ I got connected with Kevin Durant and trained him ,” Adam says . “ He won the MVP that year ( 2014 ) in the NBA , and my world
AUBURN : ANDY LYONS / ALLSPORT ; LIN : BENNY SIEU-USA TODAY SPORTS
18 HOLIDAY 2021 MONTCLAIR MAGAZINE