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Court Connection: Local Boys and Girls Clubs team up with Boston Police for basketball tournament – Boston News, Weather, Sports

BOSTON (WHDH) – Children from Boys and Girls Clubs across Boston hit the court at the Ansin Youth Center Wednesday night for the YouthConnect Unity Games Basketball Tournament.

YouthConnect works to help at-risk children make positive choices and through the Unity Games, combines basketball with educational workshops to foster relationships among youth from different backgrounds.

“For YouthConnect, really, a lot of what we do is really helping to ensure that young people and their families are not falling through the cracks,” said Kevan Barton, YouthConnect’s Executive Director.

“The people around me are always so kind and they are always so great to help out whenever I need help with school or just emotionally or mentally,” said Boys and Girls Club member Sedelia Emmanuel.

“They help people out a lot, and when people need stuff, they come to you,” said Devonte Teixeira, another Boys and Girls Club member. “They take out their own time and they help you.”

Held in-person for the first time since 2019, YouthConnect partnered with the Boston Police department for the event, giving players a chance to get to know the city’s law enforcement.

“I hope that you can see me as a person because I care about you, and I care about your future,” Boston Police Superintendent Nora Baston told a group of kids and teens. “That’s the main reason why I’m here tonight.”

The program was close to the heart of Ed Ansin, the late owner of WHDH and WLVI. Ansin gave generously to the Boys and Girls Club and its annual Unity Games Basketball Tournament for more than 20 years.

“Ed loved being part of the Boys and Girls Club,” said Jimmy Rogers, Vice President and General Manager of WHDH and WLVI. “You know, it was something that he truly believed in and something we still believe in. We love being part of the club, too. The folks here at the Charlestown facility are amazing.”

Now in its 23rd year, the program continues to champion positive changes in the community.

“You can bring kids from throughout the city to share and to meet police, to meet other folks from other organizations – that’s the power we have in our young folks,” said Robert Lewis, Jr., CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. “These are the things that are going to matter as we’re going to keep moving forward in our city.”

This year so far, the program has raised $65,000 to help children in the community.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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