Creator Patrick Johnson and the coaches are gearing up for the 17th season of the Hoops & Dreams summer basketball league.
Tryouts begin next week: 6th, 7th, and 8th graders take over the Parkway Rec Center at 6 on Tuesday June 12 and 19. Then 9th-12th graders can tryout on Thursday Thursday 14 and 21.
Johnson said the main objective for this program is to help reduce gun violence among young African-American males.
Seeing these kids grow and mature in front of his eyes throughout the years is rewarding.
"There are young men who are in their 20 and 30's that started in their teens and so they've grown with us with Hoops & Dreams. Perhaps they're not plaiyng in the NBA but it's made a difference in thier lives. So basketball means a lot and we know that basketball can be a vehicle to a better life. It helps you to think, it helps you to strategize, it helps you to deal with people and it also helps you to learn a little bit about yourself."
If you would like to join the team or are interested in coaching, you can contact Patrick Johnson at 315-601-6002.