Indianapolis, IN.  The American Basketball Association (ABA) www.abalive.com today announced that it will return to Rochester, New York for the 2014 season.  “After an eight year hiatus, we are extremely pleased to be back in Rochester, a great city,” stated ABA CEO Joe Newman.  “Rochester was the home of a former ABA Champion which joined another league leaving a void for exciting fast-paced professional basketball at affordable prices and in particular, an opportunity for local area players to play at the professional level.  In Felix Ortiz, the owner of the new Rochester Ravens, we’ve found someone who really understands basketball and has a total commitment to community.  We’re looking for great things in Rochester.”
Mr. Ortiz was born and raised in Rochester and graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College with a BA in Organizational Management and a Masters in Management/Strategic Leadership.  He has volunteered at the Arnett, Maplewood and Carlton Metro Center YMCA since 1994.  While there, he has served as Coordinator
of the Late Night Basketball Program, has served as a member of the Program Committee, Carlson Board of Managers, Invest in Youth Chairperson (2008 & 2009), and continues to be an Ambassador for the YMCA, Founder of The Annual Friends of Felix Basketball Tournament, and the SuperNova Dance Team.  He has used sports as a vehicle to “bait” kids off the streets and provide them with a safe place to play and learn about the game of basketball.
“I have given my life to raising thousands of dollars and volunteering countless hours to improve the lives of inner city youth, who need role models,” stated Mr. Ortiz.  “I am aware that youths who have experienced similar situations are given hope, motivation and courage to live for something above and beyond the oppressions and stumbling blocks they encounter on a daily basis.  That’s why I have help to create programs that provide structure through organized sports, support through coaches and mentors and teaches skill sets such as teamwork, good decision making, accountability and respect.  These skills transfer into the real world they live in, and provide them with a moral compass to help them survive in their environment.
Through the ABA, the Rochester Raven players will be assigned to volunteer in the community and serve as role models to inner city/urban youths.  Additionally, the goal is to get the community together by organizing community events.  “I look forward to being a part of the ABA and working with the ABA league office…and know that this opportunity will bring hope and life back to Rochester,” added Mr. Ortiz.  For more information, email fort8364@gmail.com or call 585 435 1262 or visit www.abalive.com.