Basketball game promotes peace in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A basketball game was held at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Grand Rapids Monday to promote peace after numerous shooting in the city this summer.

The group behind the tournament is called All in Sports. It’s a training camp for athletes of all ages in the Grand Rapids area.

“We use sports as bait so students can continue their development as young men and young ladies,” said Dominic Shannon with All in Sports.

But to the group, it’s not really about the game — it’s about changing it.

“We need peace in the city. I think once we bring activities, sports and entertainment it brings people together a lot more,” said Jamell Hatchett. “A lot of stuff has been going on out here lately. People have been getting killed. So, it’s good to bring the community out and have a good, peacefully event.

This year, Grand Rapids has experienced 10 homicides and dozens of shootings.

These players are hoping sports can be a way to keep more young people doing something positive and out of trouble.

“The connection that we have for basketball was our get away when we were growing up. If we had problems at home, we could get on the basketball court. It was a safe haven for us,” said Landon Mitchner with All in Sports.

Organizers said it could mean saving lives.

“They all come from different walks of life, have different experiences, but the common goal is basketball. That basketball piece bridges the gap. It’s a way to find a middle ground through sports and have a conversation about what we’re going through,” said Christopher Lovelady with All in Sports.

Monday marked All in Sports’ first event since the city awarded the organization $10,000 to help cut down violence in the city.

The group behind the tournament is called All in Sports. It’s a training camp for athletes of all ages in the Grand Rapids area.

“We use sports as bait so students can continue their development as young men and young ladies,” said Dominic Shannon with All in Sports.

But to the group, it’s not really about the game — it’s about changing it.

“We need peace in the city. I think once we bring activities, sports and entertainment it brings people together a lot more,” said Jamell Hatchett. “A lot of stuff has been going on out here lately. People have been getting killed. So, it’s good to bring the community out and have a good, peacefully event.”

This year, Grand Rapids has experienced 10 homicides and dozens of shootings.

These players are hoping sports can be a way to keep more young people doing something positive and out of trouble.

“The connection that we have for basketball was our get away when we were growing up. If we had problems at home, we could get on the basketball court. It was a safe haven for us,” said Landon Mitchner with All in Sports.

Organizers said it could mean saving lives.

“They all come from different walks of life, have different experiences, but the common goal is basketball. That basketball piece bridges the gap. It’s a way to find a middle ground through sports and have a conversation about what we’re going through,” said Christopher Lovelady with All in Sports.

Monday marked All in Sports’ first event since the city awarded the organization $10,000 to help cut down violence in the city.


Online: All in Sports

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