The Mitch Gross Basketball League or MGBL was established in 2009 in memory of then Teaneck resident and friend to many – Mitchell Gross. MGBL is a privately operated recreational basketball league. The league was founded by Moshe Zwebner and other dear friends of Mitch (Ronnie Aranoff, Abe Cohen, Dov Elefant, Eddie Goldberg, Lior Hod, Michael Katz, Ethan Keiser, Yehuda Kohn, Eric Melzer, Larry Milstein, Steven Penn, Eli Rosenfeld, Ushie Selevan, Rabbi Simon, Douglas Soclof, and Michael Weinberger,). The league was formed to fill a void in the community to address the growing interest in basketball while also ensuring certain values are instilled and taught to the kids at the same time. MGBL is run and managed on a day to day basis by Dov Elefant, Head of Basketball Operations; Co-Commissioners Steve Gutlove, Dave Norman and Yudy Sheinfeld and several volunteers who form the MGBL Executive Committee. In addition to the MGBL Team mentioned above (all of whom are active in local youth school sports), the league relies on parent volunteers as division heads, managers and coaches.
The MGBL commemorates Mitchell Gross (“Mitch”) while serving as a high calibre recreational basketball program for almost 1,000 boys and girls in 2nd - 8th grades and high school boys. The league focuses on teaching basketball fundamentals to players at all levels and the value of working together as a team. The league is an enthusiastic and affordable program open to residents of Bergen County including Bergenfield, Englewood, Fair Lawn, New Milford, Teaneck, Tenafly and other surrounding towns and also includes participants from Passaic County, Manhattan, Riverdale and Rockland County, NY.
Through the league fees and generous sponsorships by families and local establishments the league has been able to generate a net profit, all of which is donated to local institutions in Mitch’s memory. To date, over $50,000 has been donated in his memory.
Mitch loved many things; he loved life, he loved children and he loved to play ball, especially basketball. Mitchell always had a supply of bubble gum and candy for all kids. As a teenager Mitch was a wonderful uncle to his nieces and nephews and when his own children were born, he was the best father imaginable. No one knew how to throw a kid up in the air and make him/her laugh better than Mitch.
Mitch knew that in order to play a proper game you have to understand friendship, understand sportsmanship, and understand competition. Not only did he understand these three things but played every game with the “rules” in his head and in his heart. It is with those principals that MGBL was founded on and embraced by those that participate in the league. Mitch would be so happy and so proud to know that this basketball league is exemplifying all that he believed in.
MGBL has grown from just a boys league of 320 participants in year one to an expected 600 participants this season (season 5). Last fall the girls league had 290 participants and expect 300+ this season (season 3). This past spring they had 83 participants in our high school league for boys (season 2) and expect 100 next season.
Registration is now open for Season 3 of MGBL girls, the season will run from September to December. Team and division sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please visit the website for all the details www.mgbl.org