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How a Nets owner helped turn Paterson around

Vincent Arrington Photography

Joe Taub was once a principal owner of the Nets, back in the 80's and 90's and may retain a tiny stake now.  He also helped found ADP, the big automated payroll company.  Those are his public achievements, but the one closest to his heart may be the Doby-Taub Basketball League, an after-school program for the kids of Paterson, his hometown.

As Fred Kerber writes, it helped produced two pro's: Tim Thomas in the NBA and Essence Carson in the WNBA, but it's the thousands of others it helped survive the streets that matters most.

"When I grew up, we were all trying to survive, and I understand what these kids are going through," said Taub who as a teen became friends with Larry Doby, the first African-American to play in the American League and a Hall of Famer. "They’re trying to survive and I have to try to help them."

For more than 20 years, Taub has financed the program which requires the kids maintain a C average, exhibit good behavior and the ability to work in a structured situation. Taub has supplied college student tutors to help those struggling with grades. The Nets connection helps as well. Championship games have been held at Barclays Center, Prudential Center and IZOD.

"If we saved one kid," Taub told Kerber. "it was worth it."