Most would call East Harlem a rough neighborhood. I call it home.
Like many kids in my community, I grew up playing ball. Basketball transcended the sometimes tough reality we lived in. It was a constant truth in our lives and a source of positivity. In 2009, I co-founded Hoops By the River (HBTR) as a way to use my passion for basketball to better my community and provide that constant flow of positivity.
We've been working closely with a large group of boys and girls, including my own children, to provide programs to sharpen skills on and off the court. Rooted in basketball, we offer practices, tournaments and regular season games but we also focus on school work and the importance of education.
This week HBTR was announced as the newest addition to the A.T.R. Project (Assisting The Rise)[TM] - Above the Rim's (ATR) community-based youth development grant program. We feel privileged and blessed to be working hand-in-hand with a brand that shares the same values as HBTR. By working together my players will get closer to making their dreams a reality.
This Saturday, May 28th, HBTR and ATR are hosting a basketball clinic and tournament, "Stop the Violence," from 9AM to 5PM at Jefferson St. Park in East Harlem, NY. The tournament will showcase some of Harlem's finest young basketball players and raise awareness for anti-violence behavior in the community.
From 9AM-12PM we will host a skills clinic hosted by the Harlem Jazz coaches and from 12:30PM - 5PM we will have competitive tournament games for ages 10 and up. The day-long event will have a special guest appearance by Corey "Homicide" Williams, internationally known as the "King of NYC Streetball." Corey will be helping out at the skills clinic and available for photo opportunities throughout the day.
In addition to this weekend's event, ATR is also helping us plan a preparatory school visit in upstate New York, a yoga session, a behind-the-scenes tour at a New York-based sports facility and a group visit to Dime Magazine's office. Our goal is to show the players how they can translate their passion for the game into a career or hobby.
Look out for more HBTR events this summer and we welcome all to join us this weekend!
Hoop Dreams in Harlem
Thu, 26 May 2011 17:12:00 GMT