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It's Officially Hoops in the Hood Season

Photos by Gordon Walek

Summer is finally here, and the opportunities are endless. With a full decade of neighborhood impact, LISC Chicago and community partners are kicking off the 11th annual season of Hoops in the Hood, a sports-based initiative that creates safe spaces for youth to interact and build positive relationships with peers and caring adults while making visible use of public spaces and fostering a sense of community. 

With support from State Farm, LISC Chicago is able to provide a unique community safety strategy to bring together youth from across Chicago. Designed to literally take back the streets from gangs and violence, the program sets up in public safety “hot spots” in parks and on blocks that most residents avoid on an average summer night.

Local control is a key part of the program. Communities pick the locations and times for the program and choose the activities. In some neighborhoods the location is always the same, while others move each week to a new block, Chicago park or local gym.

“Hoops in the Hood is one of my favorite times of the year,” said Ashleigh Wayland, communications officer, LISC Chicago. “Going out to each neighborhood and seeing how they make their Hoops program unique to their community is inspiring. Hoops is really about bringing people together and engaging with one another.”

At the end of the summer, all of the 16 participating neighborhoods will come together for a Cross-City Tournament.

This year, LISC Chicago has expanded the Hoops in the Hood Network and is working with 16 community partners including: ABC Pilsen, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, Beyond the Ball, Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Build Inc., Chicago Men in Action, Claretian Associates, Near West Side CDC, Northwest Side Housing Center, Project H.O.O.D., Saint Anthony Hospital Foundation, Southwest Organizing Project, Teamwork Englewood, The Ark of St. Sabina, Annie B. Jones Community Services Shore UP and The Community Builders.

At the end of the summer, all of the participating neighborhoods will come together for a Cross-City Tournament.

Over the years, more than 18,000 kids have participated in Hoops programs, learning leadership skills, social responsibility and teamwork, and thousands of other residents have coached, watched their kid play, danced, laughed or simply spent a night out with their neighbors.

Save the date for the 11th Annual Hoops in the Hood Annual Cross-City Tournament on Saturday, August 19 at Grant Park - 1000 S Columbus Dr.

See the 2017 Hoops in the Hood schedule for the 16 participating neighborhoods.

For more information on LISC Chicago’s Hoops in the Hood program contact Ashleigh Wayland, or (312) 422-9568.



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Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier.

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