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Picking up hobbies, not guns, message behind West Side community basketball game


CHICAGO — As Chicago deals with another violent weekend, community leaders are using their skills on the basketball court to connect with young people, saying it’s just one way they’re working to reduce crime across the city.  

Sunday afternoon’s ‘Stop the Violence’ basketball game at Christ the King Jesuit College Prep aimed to keep young people off the streets. The game was played between leaders and members from various West Side churches and locals from the neighborhood. 

Organizers say as they battle it out on the court, they’re building brotherhood and unity with young men in the community, hoping to influence youth to pursue education, employment and ultimately stay out of trouble. 

The basketball game comes amid another violent weekend in Chicago.

Wille Round, with Greater St. John Bible Church, said more positive events, like Sunday’s game, are crucial to reducing violence.

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“You don’t see things like this every day going on,” Round said. “The more block parties, the more spaces that we occupy, like local parks, the more we occupy those places with events like this, the less violence there will be.”

During Sunday’s game, 32 people were awarded scholarships.


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