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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston Prepares to Host Basketball for Peace Event

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Vice Chancellor Titus (back) greets local dignitaries at previous Basketball for Peace event

The University of Massachusetts Boston is excited to host the annual Basketball for Peace event on April 22. The annual occasion is organized and run by District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and the DA’s office. Basketball for Peace is held for local youth and aims to bring together the community for a fun, competitive day of basketball.
District Attorney Conley holds Basketball for Peace in extremely high regard. He has been organizing it since 2009. “Teamwork and sportsmanship are values that go far beyond athletics,” Conley said on the Suffolk County DA’s website. “They increase your chances of success academically, in business, and in day to day life. I want to bring those values to kids and show them that when it comes to keeping them safe, we’re all on the same team.”
The event itself will be hosted on campus in the Clark Athletic Center’s basketball gymnasium. Community kids from an array of towns will be attending the event, with an average age between 11 and 15 years old. The participants include youth from Dorchester, Revere, Roxbury, and South Boston. Overall, the day offers the kids a chance to meet some local community figures, while partaking in an outing filled with basketball, music, fun, food, and more.
In earlier years the event has been extremely successful. Past Basketball for Peace events have received support from local community figures, including some retired professional athletes. One of the more prominent figures to take part is Dana Barros, a retired NBA player and former Celtic. Vice Chancellor for Athletics & Recreation, Special Projects & Programs Charlie Titus has also previously take part. His prior involvement helped bring the DA’s annual event to UMass Boston.
According to the DA’s Office, “Basketball for Peace was conceived as a way to bring schoolchildren social and athletic interaction with law enforcement during the winter months. Both events offer community residents the chance to meet and play with prosecutors, victim advocates, and law enforcement partners in a safe, fun, athletic environment.” Conley hopes that programs like this can help create a healthy bridge between the local community and its law officials. As he said, “When the community comes together to benefit our young people, we all win.”
Oderra Jones, UMass Boston’s Community Outreach and Engagement Coordinator had the difficult task of helping to organize the event. “Our goal for the event is to show the youth in our community that college is a part of their futures,” said Jones. “UMass Boston hopes that we can bridge a gap between ourselves and the local communities. We aspire to having [UMass Boston] as the permanent home for this event.”
Titus, The DA’s Office, and Michael Roberts, a former UMass Boston athlete, aided Jones in bringing Basketball for Peace to UMass Boston. Having said that, the effort hasn’t been solely from UMass Boston offices, the athletes are also engaged with the event. For example, the men’s and women’s basketball programs will help run things on April 22. “Our athletes will be officiating the games and interacting with the kids,” said Jones. “We have the best student-athletes around. No matter their schedules they always find a way to participate. Beacon student-athletes are constantly giving back to our community.”
For the remainder of April, UMass Boston will be focused on making the environment as fun and successful as possible. Overall, UMass Boston and Jones have one overarching goal for this event. “We want to continue to foster a relationship between UMass Boston and the surrounding community.”