Save Our Streets provides backpacks, basketball and community wellness – The Daily Gazette

? The main attraction for over 1,000 young men and women at Central Park this weekend was basketball. But upon arriving, they had the opportunity to do much more than play.

?When you live in the community, you understand what attracts the community and what?s important for the community,? said William Revas, one of the organizers of the weekend?s ?Back to School Community Days? event.

The inaugural edition of the event took place Saturday and Sunday in the park on the basketball courts. The main draw was a basketball tournament, but attendees also received free backpacks, free food, and were offered health, wellness and financial literacy tips, among other things. Organizers said community-based events can be important in addressing broader issues.

The event was organized by Save Our Streets, a group that aims to address social issues in Schenectady?s neighborhoods.

Organizers discussed the significance of bringing the community together to try to solve issues facing Schenectady and other cities in the region, such as violence and poverty. Revas said growing up in Schenectady helps provide prospective on what it takes to solve neighborhood issues.

For example, Revas said, the basketball tournament was a big attraction for many attendees. However, by packaging the tournament with other offerings ? a health and wellness booth, financial literacy advice, the chance to register to vote and more ? the event became more productive.

Each court had organized games going on. In the background, speakers thumped with music and kids enjoyed SnoCones and other treats on the sidelines. One woman wandered through the crowd Sunday afternoon asking individuals if they?d registered to vote.

Revas said it took about three weeks to fully plan everything out. On Saturday alone, he said, about 1,000 people attended and 300 backpacks were distributed. The event was scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Daniel Smalls, another organizer, said offering free backpacks was a way to alleviate a small cost to low-income families who might not be able to afford it for their child before school starts.

Smalls, who said he grew up just down the hill from Central Park, added that one goal of the event is to link together other cities in the region, such as Albany and Troy, because most neighborhoods are facing similar issues.

The weekend?s activities served as a good ?last hurrah? for students before most of them return to school in less than two weeks, Smalls said.

Former NBA player and former Schenectady High School basketball standout James Thomas was in attendance for the weekend as well. Thomas said he was happy to see how positive everyone – including parents, young children, and teenagers- at the weekend-long event was.

Thomas, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Portland Trailblazers and the Chicago Bulls, said he wants to help build the community and give back to the neighborhood where he grew up.

?There?s strength in numbers,? he said of the high turnout over the weekend. ?I?m just scratching the surface of what I want to do to help the community.?

Reach Gazette reporter Brett Samuels at 395-3113, or @Brett_Samuels27 on Twitter.

Save Our Streets provides backpacks, basketball and community wellness – The Daily Gazette

Two brothers arrested in shooting death of basketball star Dwyane Wade’s cousin – Washington Post

Two brothers who were on parole have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nykea Aldridge, a?cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade. She?was shot as she pushed her baby in a stroller on Chicago?s South Side, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

Police said the brothers,?Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, also were charged with attempted murder in Friday?s shooting.

Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother of four, was walking near a school where she was planning to register her children when she was shot in the head and arm. At a news conference on Sunday, the AP reported, police Cmdr. Brendan Deenihan said the intended target was a driver who had just dropped off passengers in the neighborhood.?Deenihan said that there is?video of the incident but that no weapon has been?recovered.

Darwin Sorrells was sentenced to six years in prison in January 2013 on a gun charge and was released early on parole. Derren Sorrells is a known gang member who is also on parole for motor vehicle theft and escape, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, adding that he has six felony arrests on his record.

Wade, who grew up in the area, signed with the Chicago Bulls during this summer?s free agency period.?Wade reacted to his cousin?s shooting on Twitter, writing on Friday:

The former Miami Heat star has been outspoken about gun violence, speaking Thursday on a panel with other athletes hosted by?ESPN?s ?The Undefeated.?

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, was accused of?using the tragedy to try to score political points. At a rally last week before an overwhelmingly white audience in Ohio, Trump painted a bleak picture of life in America for African Americans and Hispanics and said Democratic political leaders had taken minority voters for granted. He?said he would ?straighten out? such problems by creating jobs and getting rid of crime. ?You?ll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot,? he said. On Saturday morning, Trump sent out a tweet that suggested Aldridge?s shooting had proven his point and that ?African Americans will VOTE TRUMP!? He later tweeted his condolences to her family.

Trump?s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who appeared Sunday on CNN?s ?State of the Union,? defended Trump?s tweets. ?The point Donald Trump is making is that we have a choice to make this fall. You can go with the party that?s been responsible for the liberal policies that apparently have been content with unsafe streets in Barack Obama?s home town of Chicago, where 2,700 people have been shot this calendar year alone,? Pence said.

Pence sidestepped questions about the flow of guns into Illinois from his state. ?The AP quoted?Chicago police as saying that?a fifth of the guns used in Chicago crimes are from Indiana. When CNN anchor Jake Tapper pressed Pence on the matter, he said?there was ?tremendous gun control in Chicago.? When Tapper noted that police say many guns from Indiana make their way into the city, Pence replied: ?In Indiana, we know what most Americans know, is that law ? that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens makes our communities more safe, not less safe.?

Chicago has been experiencing a major uptick in gun violence this year, largely centered on a few South and West Side neighborhoods, after years of declines. This July, there were 65 homicides ? the most in that?month since 2006, the AP reported.

Two brothers arrested in shooting death of basketball star Dwyane Wade’s cousin – Washington Post

How To Watch/Stream: UCLA Bruins vs. Brisbane Bullets Basketball From Australia – Bruins Nation

It wasn?t clear until this morning whether the third game of the UCLA Basketball?s team?s Australian tour would be watchable back here in the States.

But, UCLA announced that the game will, in fact, be available for streaming on YouTube, courtesy of the Brisbane Bullets.

And with that taken care of, it will be another late night or early morning for Bruin basketball fans.

UCLA is 1-1 so far on their Australian tour and they look to return home on a high note with a victory. But the Brisbane Bullets are another professional team and, while they may not be as good as Melbourne, they do have a talented roster.

With two games under their belt on this trip, the question Bruin fans need to answer is: “Is this team playing more cohesively than last year’s team? Or, does the team’s play look a lot like what we saw down the stretch last season?”

Of course, if you’re up, come on over to BN and join in our game thread!

How To Watch, Listen, and Stream:

Game Date/Time:

  • Monday, August 29, 2016, 2:00 am PT


  • Logan Metro Indoor Sports Centre, Brisbane, AUS

Preseason Tour Notes:

US TV/Radio:

  • None

Video Stream:

How To Watch/Stream: UCLA Bruins vs. Brisbane Bullets Basketball From Australia – Bruins Nation