Basketball brings peace, unity to South Bend

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 11:55 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The inaugural Ball-4-Peace Pro-Am was held Thursday in South Bend. The event brought the community together and spread a message of peace, all while enjoying an entertaining game of basketball.

The Marting Luther King Jr. Community Center gymnasium was packed this evening with basketball fans as the King Dome Youth League hosted its first Ball-4-Peace Pro-Am.

The purpose of the event was a simple one: bring peace to the South Bend community.

“All we’re trying to do is change the atmosphere,” Ball-4-Peace organizer Cedrick Joseph-Pauline said. “We’ve been having a lot of things going on, lot of deaths, lot of violence. So, we said, ‘Okay, what can we do?’ We know balling brings them peace, so we decided to bring everybody together out at this great event that we have today.”

The players at the event have played various levels of college basketball, and some have even played professionally. All of them are from South Bend and we’re happy to give back to their community.

“We’re a pretty tight-knit group here in South Bend and the guys that can play know the guys that can play,” Ball-4-Peace organizer and player Maurice Scott Jr. said. “We all got together and was like, ‘Let’s do something, man for the people to come see us get up and down.’ We already have private runs where we get up and down. So, we were like, ‘Let’s put a crowd in the stands, put some whistles to it and do it up.’ So, it’s going to be fun.”

The organizers and players wanted the children who were in attendance to be conscious of their decisions and how they impact the community.

“Just awareness to what’s going on and talks about solutions,” Ball-4-Peace player Bryant Givens said. “Where can we get solutions from? How can we bring in resources to change what’s going on in our environment right now?”

Above all else, the organizers of Ball-4-Peace want the children to have fun and enjoy life.

“Find what it is that brings you peace,” Joseph-Pauline said. “Whether it’s basketball, whether it’s just coming out and enjoying a game with your peers. Those are the things that we got to start doing instead of going out there and doing negative stuff. Just be you.”

Organizers say this is just the beginning of a string of events to help bring the community together and continue to spread a message of peace.

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