UPPER WEST SIDE — Cooper Stock loved nothing more than staying up late and watching basketball games with his father. At only 9 years old, he was passionate about the game and its history, easily recounting decades worth of trivia.
In January, Cooper, was killed by a cabdriver who failed to yield as he crossed the street with his father near their apartment.
Right before he died, Cooper told his mother, "'I want to play basketball every day,'" she said.
"He was very passionate," said his mom, Dana Lerner.
To honor Cooper and his love of the sport, his family has organized an event at the indoor cycling gym Soul Cycle to raise money for Coop's Hoops — a fund that will pay to send kids who otherwise couldn't afford it to basketball camp.
The cycling class, taught by instructor Julie Dermer, who is also a neighbor of the Stock family, is happening Sunday, May 4, from 7 to 8 p.m. on Amsterdam Avenue between West 76 and 77th streets. All 61 spaces in the class are already sold out, with dozens more donating money, said organizer and family friend Jackie Kern.
The fund has already raised more than $12,000 to pay for at least 25 kids to attend the weeklong Walt Frazier Basketball Camp this summer. Cooper attended last year and loved the camp, which is held at Baruch College.
Craig Alfano, the president and co-founder of the camp, said he's working with organizers to use the funds to help kids attend the camp, but that the exact number of attendees is still being worked out.
Kern is hoping the fund can raise an additional $2,000 so that 30 kids can attend the camp this summer, she said. Next year, she's hoping they can raise enough money for 100 kids, so that they can fill an entire week with Coop's Hoops kids, she added.
"The idea was created in a very dark moment in an effort to do anything to keep Cooper’s memory alive," Kern said.
So far, roughly 60 percent of the 91 donors are people from the community who do not personally know the Stock family, Kern explained.
"I really feel good about [Coop's Hoops] because I think that’s something he would have wanted," Lerner said.
Although the seats in the class are filled, Coop's Hoops is continuing to fundraise and all donations are welcomed here.