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Hoops and Dreams expanding but goals remain the same

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - After ten years and 25 successful basketball events, the Hoops and Dreams Project is expanding.

Instead of two tournaments a year, Hoops and Dreams will have a summer league for seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth graders. The goals of reducing violence, restore peace and rebuilding neighborhoods remain the goals of the initiative.

Organizers feel they've stopped homicides through basketball, but say there is another type of violence that needs to be curbed.

"Mainly street fighting with large groups. Mainly what we want to do is target that," said Patrick Johnson, the founder of Hoops and Dreams. "We want to do that with life skills with young people in the inner city of Utica, address conflict resolution, self control, how to manage our anger."

Tryouts are happening Saturday at Noon at the Parkway Rec Center. Summer League Games will be played on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights beginning at 5:30.

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