Passing It On
Teen Receives New Hoop Through Act Of Kindness
Kaine Torres, a Jamestown High School freshman, received a new basketball hoop as the result of a local woman’s efforts.
Melissa Paterniti said she was at a friend’s house on Sturges Street in Jamestown when she realized that the basketball hoop that a neighbor and her friend’s son were playing on was in bad shape.
“I looked up and noticed that the kid’s basketball hoop was pretty banged up,” Paterniti said.
The hoop was probably in rough shape because of the amount of time he spends playing basketball with friends in the neighborhood.
“I probably play every-other day,” Torres said in a phone interview. “Basketball is kind of my favorite sport. I also play football. I just like to shoot the ball. It’s fun.”
He also uses basketball to get outside and get away from the real world.
His mother is currently sick, and basketball allows him to forget about it, even for a short time.
After talking about it with her friend, Paterniti decided to post a status on Facebook, stating she was looking to raise money to get Torres a new basketball hoop. The results were almost overwhelming.
“I just said (on the status), ‘Would anybody want to help me help this kid,'” Paterniti said. “I mean, within minutes I had three basketball hoops and all this money being thrown at me to get this kid a new hoop. It was amazing. That status was posted and the hoop was up in four days.”
With the money from the donations, she ordered a new rim and net for the hoop, which should arrive soon. The hoop Torres has was donated by Mary Jo Andalora and her son Andrew Dix.
“I was excited about it,” said John Torres, Kaine’s step-father. “Kaine is something else, he was excited about it.”
On May 29, Paterniti and her friend got the hoop, went to the house, knocked on the door and asked Torres if he wanted a new basketball hoop. It was a surprise to him, because he had no idea that Paterniti was doing this.
“The kid came to the door and I said, ‘Hey, do you want a new basketball hoop today?'” Paterniti said. “He was confused, and he looked at me like, ‘What?'”
“I was very surprised,” Torres added.
Torres and Paterniti’s friends helped unload and install the new hoop, and Torres was all smiles throughout the whole process.
After getting Torres’ new hoop installed, he took it upon himself to donate his old hoop to a neighbor who didn’t have one themselves.
When asked why he donated his hoop to his neighbors, Torres replied with a simple, yet clear reason: “Give and give.” Because somebody went out of their way to get him a new hoop, he decided he should pay it forward with a kind act of his own.
“He realized that the neighbors didn’t have a basketball hoop,” Paterniti said. “So he gave his hoop to the kids across the street. He did that all on his own. No one asked him to. It was really, really genuine.”
“Not only did one family benefit from this new hoop, but two families benefited,” Paterniti added.
To those who made getting a new hoop possible for Torres, he would like them to know he is very thankful.
“Thank you, and I appreciate it because I really needed a better hoop,” Torres said. “Thank you very much, like, thank you.”