Mayor Rahm Emanuel enlisted the support of all Chicagoans today to fund the expansion of a community basketball program.
with NBA Hall of Famer and native Chicagoan Isiah Thomas along with the Chicago Park District, Emanuel hopes to raise $480,000 to create new
teen basketball leagues for at-risk youth at 10 parks across the city.
The parks were chosen according to high crime levels, low median income
and regional influence of the park facility.
The parks chosen for the program and their respective neighborhoods are:
- Pottowottomie (Rogers Park)
- Amundsen (Austin)
- Columbus (Austin)
- Garfield (East Garfield)
- Franklin (North Lawndale)
- Kennicott (Kenwood)
- Jackson (Woodlawn)
- Ogden (Englewood)
- Hamilton (Englewood)
- Fernwood (Roseland)
The program will
open up an additional 3,200 year-round opportunities for teens ages 13
to 17. The leagues will operate from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and 5
p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.
“Keeping our streets safe is about
more than just police work – it requires that we provide our kids with
productive opportunities to learn team work and leadership skills,” said
Emanuel in a statement. “This partnership will allow all Chicagoans to
play a part in reducing the violence that is plaguing our communities by
investing in programs that work. I will continue working with leaders
from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, as well as the general
public, to identify innovative new approaches that reduce the risk of
kids getting involved with drugs, gangs and violence. Chicagoans are
interested in helping combat these problems, and we are pleased to offer
them an outlet to do so.”
Anyone can visit cityofchicago.org/hoops
make a donation to support the purchase of a jersey, pay a referee for a
game, reserve a court or support another part of the program.