Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, who represents District 5 that includes the eastern part of the county from Howard County to the District of Columbia, and Gabe Albornoz, director of the Montgomery County Recreation Department, are partnering with IMPACT Silver Spring and Pyramid Atlantic to host the third annual Audacity of Hoops Silver Spring 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament on Saturday, Nov. 2, in downtown Silver Spring.
Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, District of Columbia Councilmember Muriel Bowser and Prince George’s County Councilmember Karen Toles will be among the special guests who will help kick off the tournament that will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Ellsworth Drive (next to the Silver Spring Civic Building’s Veterans Plaza). All Montgomery County high school-aged students are eligible to assemble teams and join the free tournament.
The outdoor tournament was originally scheduled for a weekend in October, but was rescheduled because of poor weather. If the weather does not cooperate on Nov. 2, the tournament will be moved to the Silver Spring International Middle School (at 313 Wayne Ave.) close to downtown Silver Spring.
Beginning in October 2011, Councilmember Ervin has hosted the annual Audacity of Hoops Basketball Tournament in downtown Silver Spring with the Montgomery County Recreation Department, Pyramid Atlantic, IMPACT Silver Spring, and the Long Branch Athletic Association. This successful 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament for high school students in the County generated tremendous participation and focused on young people in and around Silver Spring.
“Innovative partnerships and activities that motivate young people are the keys to positive youth development,” said Councilmember Ervin, who chairs the County Council’s Education Committee. “This 3-on-3 tournament not only provides young people with an activity that is free, fun and positive, but also promotes physical fitness through sports and exercise.”
The Audacity of Hoops is a 3-on-3 tournament that uses sports and recreation as a way to engage students and their families in constructive activities. Top players from area high schools sign-up each year to participate in organized games; and the slam-dunk and free throw contests draw large crowds of excited fans.
Like last year, the tournament will include male and female teams; jerseys with the Audacity of Hoops logo screen-printed by Pyramid Atlantic; and teams from County agencies, including the Recreation, Police and Fire and Rescue departments. This year, Gandhi Brigade will create short youth-produced videos of the basketball tournament from a teen perspective.
“Each year this tournament becomes bigger and better and I couldn’t be more excited about hosting and helping to organize the event this year,” said Councilmember Ervin. “This event is truly a collaborative effort including partnerships with County agencies, non-profits and local shops and restaurants.”
The County’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget included funds for the continuation of enhanced positive youth development programs. Gabe Albornoz, director of the Department of Recreation said, “We are thrilled to once again have an opportunity to help produce the Audacity of Hoops event. This is an excellent way to provide positive and well-organized activities for youth across the County. We expect to build off of the very successful previous years and have a wonderful tournament.”
IMPACT Silver Spring, which was founded in 1999 to address ongoing social needs in an extremely diverse community, runs targeted capacity-building programs for residents and groups to build empowerment and leadership skills. In 2011, IMPACT merged the Long Branch Athletic Association, co-host of last year’s tournament, into its organization.
"The tournament is now in its third year. With basketball as the major draw, we are expanding the network of partners and supporters who are bringing additional resources to help with positive youth development and employment,” said Ronnie Galvin of IMPACT Silver Spring. “The growth of the tournament and the evolution of our work is a testament to the gifted young people and the generous partners in our community."
District of Columbia Councilmember Bowser said: “Councilmember Ervin and I share a common border along Ward 4 in the District of Columbia and Silver Spring. I’m always happy to lend a hand and support Ward 4’s sister community – in this case to help with the Boy’s tip-off. Congratulations and good luck to those participating in the Third Annual Audacity of Hoops 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament!”
Jason Miskiri, owner of Society Lounge in Silver Spring and a former star basketball player at George Mason University who went on to play professionally, said: "I am delighted and honored to be a part of the Audacity of Hoops tournament. It is a good way for kids to learn leadership, teamwork, dedication and the will to win. In turn, this will help them to succeed later in life."
Participants can register and get more information by calling Jose Segura at the Department of Recreation at 240-777-6916 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If space is available, teams can register the day of the event. All students must produce valid high school identification to participate.
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