HomeTRP NewsThe Resurrection Basketball League tips off its 13th year of promoting peace

The Resurrection Basketball League tips off its 13th year of promoting peace

by Maria Fereira
Published: September 3, 2012
Photos by Lyndsi Barboza.
On Friday afternoon of June 29, 2012, TRP kicked off its 13th annual Resurrection Basketball League (RBL), a yearly event to promote peace and safety in the neighborhoods by giving local kids the opportunity to participate in sports and keep them off the streets. The first game of the season coincided with the 10th anniversary memorial service of the death of police officer Bryan Strausse. A memorial service followed the game.
The event began with opening remarks by Father Charles Dahm, a local priest and Board Chair of TRP. “We are here to promote peace,” he said. He also spoke with the young players about the event before offering a prayer giving thanks for peace, safety, and the good weather.
The block was closed off at either end to create an open space set up for basketball, soccer, and other activities. There was also a bouncy house and a game area for children who did not want to participate in the games. Live music and food was offered throughout the event, and TRP staff and volunteers were on hand to coach the teams, referee the games, and set up informational booths for youth and parents.
As in previous years, RBL takes place in a different block each week throughout the summer months. The first game took place at 18th Place and Loomis, and subsequent games took place throughout Pilsen before ending at El Zócalo on 18th and Paulina. And like previous years, the games draw in a lot of people—in some cases, the same people who come year after year and who are now helping the younger participants.
“A lot of these big guys have been coming since they were little guys,” a TRP staff member said as two new teams hit the court. Another player arrived, greeted various staff members, and went to organize the younger players. Many of the high school-aged players have grown up participating in the program every summer.
RBL’s mission is to engage youth in sports as a way of keeping them off the streets and promoting peace—and this mission is never far from the minds of staff and volunteers.
“This was a good turnout,” a TRP staff member said. “Participation usually depends on what block we’re on that week. Sometimes, no one feels safe enough to come out.”
Yet, by the end of the summer, RBL had attracted more than 200 local youth to the weekly tournament and helped to promote a message that will hopefully resonate with the young participants.
“We come here because it’s a chance to play for something more than just fun,” said one youth.
Playing for something more important than fun, and something that will benefit the entire community, is what RBL hopes its young participants continue to take away from every game and every week.
See photos from this year’s RBL on The Resurrection Project’s Facebook page.