When 32 teams consisting of Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball teams from around New York City converged on Springfield Gardens High School in Queens on December 27 and December 28 for the 2nd Annual Holiday High School Basketball Classic, it was more than just a chance to play in another tournament.
The event presented by Ballin’ 4 Peace was the opportunity to provide a safe haven for kids and families during the holiday season and provided some much needed community outreach in Queens.
It was also the perfect way to end an eventful 2022, while also looking ahead to an exciting 2023.
In a year that started with the NYC Battle 2022 presented by Dudo Baez at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, followed by the 2nd Annual “Celebrating Our Wins” all-women’s panel in March, the national Road To Peace Tour with stops in Houston, Miami, and Atlanta during the Summer, a two-day basketball tournament at QueensWeek, and New York Mayor Eric Adams voicing support of Ballin’ 4 Peace at the Youth Summit, the year was the perfect balance between making an impact on and off of the court at Ballin’ 4 Peace.
Needless to say, the Holiday Basketball Classic translated into a December to remember and was living proof that Ballin’ 4 Peace continues to make a difference as a nonprofit organization that spreads peace through sports.
“This event leads to the next step. We want to get these kids scholarships, try to get them more attention, get them recruited and try to get them to that next level,” Ballin’ 4 Peace Founder, Haron Hargrave told QNS.
“The most important thing for this is getting the inner city youth off the streets. We’re giving them opportunities for support and to play ball. This also allows them to play during the break.”
In addition to students, coaches, and teams from Thomas Edison High School, Bayside High School, Broome Street Academy, Hillcrest High School, Summit Academy, Springfield Gardens, Van Buren High School, Cardozo High School, Thurgood Marshall High School, Queens High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences, Erasmus Hall High School, Eagle Academy, George Washington, and Gompers High School representing their schools over the holiday break in Queens, the Holiday Basketball Classic was also attended by Dr. Josephine Yeboah Van-Ess, Superintendent of Queens South High Schools.
Sponsors included Wooter Apparel, Sage Media, and also the New York Knicks.
Thank you for everyone who came out yesterday to support Day 1 of the Holiday Basketball Classic at Springfield Gardens, including Dr. Josephine Yeboah Van-Ess, Superintendent of Queens South High Schools. Varsity games tip-off this morning at 10 o'clock! #ballin4peace pic.twitter.com/gQJ3puIspz— Ballin 4 Peace (@ballin4peace) December 28, 2022
So what does Ballin’ 4 Peace do for an encore in 2023?
More of the same: more giving back, more community outreach, more programs and events that benefit inner-city youth, and more spreading peace through sports. In order for that to happen, however, we need your help. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Ballin' 4 Peace relies on the donations and contributions of donors like you to help power and strengthen our outreach, programs, and events. Help show your support of Ballin' 4 Peace by making a donation today.
*Photo credited to Ethan Marshall/QNS