In 2012, amidst one of the deadliest years in recent Chicago history, the city struggled to come up with solutions to quell the gang violence that was plaguing the city’s underserved communities. A small but influential group (Father Michael Pfleger, Chicago Bulls All Star Joakim Noah, Violence Interrupter Cobe Williams, and Promoter Duce Powell) came up with a simple idea to help stop the violence.
They decided to hold a basketball tournament with a twist; the twist being that all of the teams would be comprised of youth from different areas in Chicago. The idea was to show the youth that they were all part of the same community and that people from the neighborhoods were supportive of a group effort to end the violence. The community-organized Chicago Peace Tournament was a success and the resulting efforts to provide jobs and education have opened up opportunities for the youth. These ongoing efforts have been continuing year-round at St. Sabina (with support from Connor Sports) and also at the Major Adams Center on the west side of Chicago, with help from the Noah’s Arc Foundation.
“The basketball court for me, during a game, is the most peaceful place I can imagine.”
~ Michael Jordan