Con Edison Athlete of the Week: Rye Neck's Matthew Franks

Con Edison Athlete of the Week: Rye Neck's Matthew Franks


Con Edison Athlete of the Week: Rye Neck's Matthew Franks


In the fall of his junior year, Matthew Franks and the rest of the Rye Neck varsity baseball team set up a table at each home football game to collect used baseball equipment.

It was not for the Panthers’ benefit. The team’s efforts were made to aid others who couldn’t afford the gear themselves.

The team came up with the Giving Gear Project, an initiative to redistribute usable helmets, gloves and bats to underprivileged teams and individuals.

The idea came to fruition when a few players realized their old baseball equipment could still be put to good use.

“I remember on my traveling team, we would face teams where all the players used only one helmet,” said Franks, a key player on the Rye Neck boys basketball team and this week’s Con Edison Athlete of the Week. “Sometimes the equipment other teams used was dysfunctional.”

The project continued through the academic year. Even at the school’s Spring Fair, the team had a booth set up to accomplish its mission. Last summer, members of the team dropped off the equipment to the Pitch In for Baseball charity organization in Harleysville, Pa.

Although Franks wasn’t able to make the trip, he was proud they executed the plan.

“It’s a great feeling to give to those without,” said Franks, a senior. “It’s a good way to represent the school and team.”

The 90-plus student-athlete with college courses in English, Italian, calculus AB and physics C also represents the school well in the classroom and on the court.

Franks is a key contributor to the 11-3 record the Panthers have compiled so far.

“You can almost put down 17 points in the scorebook before each game,” Panthers coach Shawn Lincoln said. “His ability to play inside and out is definitely a big part of our team’s success.”

Franks became the seventh player in Rye Neck’s history to score 1,000 career points in a win over Rye last Saturday. He was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 19.5 points and 11 rebounds.

Franks grabbed his 500th career rebound against Westlake at Rye Neck’s holiday tournament. He was named tournament MVP after averaging 17 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals.

“I think it gives the other kids confidence knowing they can count on him to be consistent every game,” Lincoln said. “I’m proud of everything he has done over the years, and I can’t wait to see him grow more in college.”


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