Rival gangs came together on the basketball court Saturday after a particularly violent week on the South Side.
For the second year in a row, the St. Sabina Peace Basketball Tournament was held in the church’s gym.
The tournament brings together individuals from rival sides of the Auburn Gresham community. The young men are taking part and doing so peacefully.
Today’s tournament comes at the conclusion of a violent week in the city. A 14-year-old boy was killed Friday afternoon just blocks from his home and minutes from St. Sabina. Two other young men were killed Friday night. Thursday’s mass shooting of 13 people at a South Side park was the reason many of these young men decided to play today. The youngest victim’s age, 3-years-old, was deeply disturbing to guys long-hardened by the streets.
Mayor Emanuel attended the event and offered encouragement to the young men, as did former NBA player and coach Isiah Thomas. He said getting involved in something is essential to getting guys off the streets.
Chicago Bull Joakim Noah also attended the tournament. He told players just want they needed to hear – that someone cares, and that the problems the young men face matter.