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Schenectady dedicates Central Park basketball courts in honor of late former student

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy with Sondra Banks, Councilor Marion Porterfield and Thomas Carrington, at "Nay's Place" dedication, June 20, 2022.
Dave Lucas
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy with Sondra Banks, Councilor Marion Porterfield and Thomas Carrington, at "Nay's Place" dedication, June 20, 2022.

The city of Schenectady is honoring a model student-athlete who died too young.

On what would have been Naylon Carrington's 20th birthday, people gathered Wednesday in Schenectady's Central Park, where the basketball courts were dedicated in his honor.

Carrington loved basketball and worked tirelessly to perfect his game. He died in a tragic car crash in 2020, a few months after graduating from Schenectady High.

According to media accounts, then 18-year-old Carrington was a passenger in a car that went through a red light and struck a tractor trailer at the intersection of Union Street and Route 7 in Niskayuna. Two others in the vehicle were not seriously hurt. Carrington was transported to Ellis Hospital where he died of his injuries.

City Council President Marion Porterfield says Carrington was passionate.

"He was a real inspiration for other young people, so to be here today to memorialize his name and to carry on his memory, I think it's important that young people know that, you know, if there's something that you want to do, put your all into it and you can be successful," said Porterfield.

Schenectady High Varsity Basketball Coach John Miller says Carrington "left his legacy" on the basketball program.

"Naylon was inspiring in the sense that he heard the word 'no' quite a bit," Miller said. "And it did not stop him from working and trying to achieve a major goal of his and that was to, obviously make the basketball team and be involved in a program that he loved to be a part of. And when it came time to it, you know, I've gotten thanks from people for keeping him on the team and things like that. I didn't do anything. He completely earned that on his own. And I think that just speaks to his work ethic. And the experience with him. I'm thankful to have had it."

Thomas Carrington says it was difficult to lose his son.

"He had such a bright future ahead of him," said Carrington. "So to see all this love and support for my family is a joy forever and [I'm] grateful. He was a special kid, he encouraged many of his peers, to not accept 'no' and always follow their dreams. I always taught my kids to not give up and one day go after your dreams. This was Naylon's favorite court to play at. He loved ball. He always used to tell me 'Dad I'm going to CP,' meaning Central Park courts. These courts meant a lot to him. He practiced every day here. And now these courts would be a staple in my son's life."

Mayor Gary McCarthy says Carrington was "an honor roll student and admired by his teachers and coaches alike." McCarthy formally named the basketball courts "Nay's Place."

"Whereas Naylon’s diligence, dedication and perseverance can serve as a model to the youth of Schenectady, as they play ball on the same courts that Naylon developed his game in his commitment to this community, here on the basketball courts in Central Park. Now therefore, I Gary McCarthy, mayor of the city of Schenectady do hereby proclaim June 22, 2022 as Naylon Carrington Day in the city of Schenectady and posthumously recognize him for his dedication and leadership to this community," said McCarthy.

Pictures of Carrington are hung on fencing surrounding the courts. McCarthy presented the proclamation to Carrington's mother, Sondra Banks.