Can basketball blunt the complex problems of a troubled neighborhood?
Well, the Our Youth Basketball League is giving it a solid try.
In spite of a homicide that occurred on the Flanigan Park basketball court where league games are held, the basketball and lessons that go with it went on this summer.
League organizers believe the presence of the league is vital to the community where the league games are played and vital to the 140 kids who participate in the league.
The kids need direction and mentors and positivity and they get all of that with the league.
Organizers believe that the kids learn things on the court and in the league that they might not otherwise learn. And if they weren't spending time playing basketball, the likelihood of getting in trouble would be that much greater.
Sports are most valuable to kids when they are used as an avenue to life lessons, particularly when those kids might not be getting those lessons at home and in their neighborhood.
Thanks are due to the leaders of the Our Youth Basketball League for forging on after this summer's tragedy.