INDIANAPOLIS — Dozens of Indy teens took to the basketball court Friday night on the city’s near northwest side.
It’s all part of Summer in the City’s annual “Play for Peace Basketball Tournament” at Municipal Garden Family Center that aims to reduce violence in Indianapolis.
“It’s fun, we do it every Friday,” Dejuan Sumler said. “I do it every day though. It’s fun hooping.”
Others agreed that it is just fun to play basketball.
“We’re just having fun too,” Dantarance Moore said. “We have fun and stuff.”
More than 70 teens took part in the tournament Friday night.
It’s an initiative spearheaded by the Indy Peace Fellowship that aims to reduce violence on Indy’s streets by providing teens with free and safe activities during the summer.
“It’s giving them something to do, something positive to do, and it puts them around positive people,” said Antoine Murphy with Indy Peace Fellowship. “Trying to give them resources, just being a mentor for them showing them that adults really care about you, the community cares about you.”
And in a city that’s been rocked by gun violence, it’s not lost on anyone, the real purpose for taking to the court Friday night.
“It’s good mentorship for the kids,” Sumler said. “Some of those have a bad past from their past life, so they teach us steps of how to stay out of trouble and stuff like that.”
“It’s just one of those things that connects us from one community to the other,” Murphy said. “Whether you’re black, or white, this culture or that culture. It’s just one of those things and why we really wanted to bring basketball to really tie in those things together in a positive way.”
If your teen wants to play, they can still sign up. The basketball tournament runs every Friday night this summer until July 7. For a full list of Summer in the City events, click here.