Association of Midnight Basketball: Community driven to help youth – The Progress

Dec 18, 2015 | National News

Petersburg YMCA to host event for boys and girls Saturday, Dec. 19

Posted Dec. 17, 2015 at 7:01 PM

PETERSBURG — All of this started in Allusions Barber Shop.

An opportunity for entertainment. An exciting alternative for local youth. A center for tools that people are able to access right there in their own community.

That opportunity, that alternative is midnight basketball, a safe haven of fun available to guys and girls this Saturday at the Petersburg YMCA, 120 N Madison St.

WHEN AND WHERE: Association of Midnight Basketball will take place on Saturday, December 19 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The event will be for guys and girls ages 12 to 17.

“The reason why we had those hours was because we wanted to keep the children off the streets, didn’t want them in any trouble,” said Allusions Barber Shop’s Bari Muhammad.

The upcoming event is part of ongoing collaborative community efforts by the organization Shape Up Our Future, along with the Nation of Islam and Operation Diamond, to help out the youth.

“There are really not a lot of programs for [the youth],” Muhammad said. “There’s a lot of murders out here, a lot of violence, and we noticed that the youth need mentors, counseling.”

Friends such as Robert Gay Jr., who is part of the Upside to Youth Development counseling service, have come together to bolster community efforts to help the youth.

With the training Muhammad has had in the Nation of Islam along with partner Shahid Shabazz, they have coordinated various efforts to help the younger population, including: back-to-school programs where they’ve provided books and school supplies; entertainment for the community; and resources for the public.

“We give other organizations outlets — churches, charities, fraternities, sororities — to introduce themselves to the children,” Muhammad said. “Now, [the children] have something to live up to, look at. They have an example.”

Enter the Petersburg Revolution basketball team to further strengthen this drive to help the youth.

A member of the community tagged the Revolution’s Facebook page asking for the Revolution’s help.

The Revolution made contact and said they wanted to be a part of the efforts, which matched right up with their Junior NBA Program as well as the Revolution’s mission statement to be a cornerstone of the community.

PARTNERSHIPS: “We couldn’t do this without the YMCA,” Muhammad said. “The YMCA has been very, very helpful.”

PROVIDERS: Sam’s Club of Colonial Heights donated 200 bottles of water. Local restaurants – Mo’s, Traditionz and The Mad Italian – will supply food at the midnight basketball event on Saturday.

 

See the Full Article of Association of Midnight Basketball: Community driven to help youth – in The Progress

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