VIDEO: Hoops hero Willie Worsley inspires students


Spring Valley’s Willie Worsley has made a world of difference in his corner of our state – and now the entire eduction community is hearing about it.

Coach Worsley from Spring Valley High School received the National Education Association’s prestigious H. Council Trenholm Memorial Award at the NEA’s annual Civil and Human Rights Awards dinner in Chicago, part of the NEA’s Representative Assembly. The award is “for leadership in advancing intergroup understanding within the education profession,” a task to which he’s devoted his life.

In 1966, he was a starter on the the NCAA basketball champion Texas Western College – the first team in college history to start five African-American student-athletes in the national championship game.

Since 1985, he has roamed the sidelines at Rockland County’s Spring Valley High School as boys basketball coach, sending many student-athletes to careers and college.

Here's Coach Worsley during the 2008-09 season. Photo by Michael Weisbrot

His colleagues applaud him as a role model who has been instrumental in keeping kids in school and out of trouble. Willie is a hall monitor and member of the Maintenance, Transportation, Special Services and Security Employees Union, a NYSUT-affiliated local in the East Ramapo school district. NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler nominated Worsley for the award.

Worsley’s philosophy about dealing with his colleagues and students is strong and consistent, “As long as I have breath in me, I’ll be a teacher. Money comes and money goes, Love stays in your heart.”

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