(JERSEY CITY) – Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-Hudson) will host a basketball tournament this Saturday in hopes of fostering a greater relationship between residents, civic leaders and law enforcement officials to better work together in the fight against illegal gun use and gun violence, which has claimed too many lives and torn apart too many families in Jersey City.
“Sports have the power to transcend culture and nationality. People that may not share a language will find a way to communicate in the field or court. With Shoot Hoops Not Guns, we are using basketball as a way to build bridges between the community and law enforcement to better fight gun violence,” said Mainor, a detective with the Jersey City Police Department and chair of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. “Our hope is to break down the barriers that often exist between community members and law enforcement officials to better protect our neighborhoods. In light of the terrible tragedy at Newtown, and every child who has fallen victim to gun crime since, we must work even harder to prevent our communities from being victimized by senseless gun violence.”
The Shoot Hoops Not Guns 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy Blvd. Jersey City, NJ. The tournament is open to men and women between 15 and 35 years old. Participants under 18 must submit written permission from a parent. Jersey City native, hip hop recording artist and star of the TV show “Love and Hip Hop” Joe Budden will be donating sneakers to be given away at the event.
Those interested may register at Mainor’s district office, 2324 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City or by calling (201) 536-7851. It is co-sponsored by New Jersey City University, Jersey City Police Department, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
The tournament will kick-off with an opening ceremony recognizing victims of gun violence, and feature entertainment, contests, raffles and giveaways for children and adults. Registration starts at 10 a.m., followed by the opening ceremony at 11 a.m. The game begins at noon.
Shoot Hoops Not Guns is part of the Block2Block Tour, an initiative that works to gain a better understanding of blocks or neighborhoods and the issues affecting them in order to better serve these communities and address these issues. The initiative requires support and partnership from the community, law enforcement, civic leaders and various stakeholders.
“Gun violence is a daily occurrence in some communities. Gun violence should never be the norm, and no parent should have to worry about whether their child will be shot every time they go outside,” said Mainor. “This event provides a real opportunity to tackle gun violence in our community as a united front. I hope residents will come out and join the call for a safer and better Jersey City.”