Support urged for 'Peace on da Streets'


Carlos Reid


Sports Reporter


A LANDMARK of the summer basketball calendar in the Bahamas, the Hope Center and Youth Against Violence present another edition of the summer’s most anticipated tournament.

The 18th Annual Nelson Cooper ‘Peace on da Streets’ Basketball Classic is slated for July 17- 20 at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.

“The basketball classic started in 1995 and was first named the National Park League Championships,” Reid said. “The name was changed to the Nelson Cooper Peace on da Streets Basketball Classic in 1996. The late Nelson Cooper was the leader of a gang called the Border Boys. He gave his life to the Lord and went into Mason’s Addition community to encourage other gang members to stop the violence. He was shot the night he entered that same community and died a few weeks later.”

Reid said the basketball tournament is an effort to continue the work of Cooper and YAV to help keep our youth off the streets.

“So far for 2013 there have been over 57 reported murders and last year’s count ended with 117,” Reid said. “While we don’t want to magnify the problem, we also don’t want to minimise the fact that we are experiencing an epidemic as it relates to crime and violence.”

Reid said Youth Against Violence is committed to fighting this scourge. “We will continue to provide positive alternatives and solutions to the youth of this nation,” he said.

“We refuse to sit on the sidelines and hope that it will get better because the reality is that it won’t get better until every law-abiding and sensible citizen makes up their mind to become a solution rather than a problem.”

This year’s event will consist of five different divisions – 13 and under, 16 and under, 19 and under, church and open divisions.

There will also be a Family Night starting 5pm July 20.

The night will feature the championship games, the three-point shoot-out and the Phil’s Food Services slam dunk contest which has been featured on ESPN for the past two years.

“This event continues to grow each year,” Reid said. “Last year’s champion “Werm” out of Fort Lauderdale will be back.”

This year’s winner will receive 50” plasma television, second prize will get 42” television and third prize is a Samsung Galaxy S3, all courtesy of Phil’s food Services.

The celebrity game will again feature members of parliament playing against members of the clergy in a game dedicated to the late Charles Maynard, former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.

The pastors have won this game for the past three years but the politicians say that with the new generation politicians they have this year, they are guaranteeing a win.

Additionally, there is a team expected to come in from Grand Bahama to participate in this year’s edition and for the first time, another from Atlanta, Georgia.

“Again, we expect a number of our Bahamian college players to play this summer, as this event has become an elite basketball tournament in the Bahamas,” Reid said.

“Our classic has become the most highly anticipated summer event in New Providence and over the past several years we have attracted some college coaches from the US who come down with the hopes of offering scholarships to some of our young players.”

This year’s sponsors once again are led by Furniture Plus, which has been a part of the tournament since its inception, along with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

“We encourage everyone out there to come out and support this event,” Reid said. “Our children need you.”


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