The First Game — Glen Arden June 18 1986

by | Jun 18, 2024 | Programs

On this day a historical event took place.  A man, G. Van Standifer, saw a need in his community for activities for youth. In 1985, as town manager of Glenarden, and a retired FAA worker, [he] became concerned with escalating crime rates in his area. Poring over police reports, he noticed a few trends: increased criminal activity in summer months, spikes between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., and a high number of perpetrators between 17 and 22 years old. With parks closing early, drugs on the streets and few [youth activities] available, Standifer hit upon a diversion. “Opening the gyms at night, it would—one—keep the kids off the street,” says Eric Standifer, the founder’s son. “But for them to participate, they’d also have to participate in some constructive activity. It had to fulfill some need in the community.” In other words: This wouldn’t just be a hoops league. Participants would also have to participate in enrichment programs, from drug education workshops to career counseling. The league even offered partial scholarships to vocational schools for its players. — from Sports Illustrated

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