A Special Basketball Tournament at The Salvation Army Red Shield Center in Englewood

Feb 27, 2023

With Chicago Public Schools closed for President’s Day, Captain AJ Zimmerman and the Red Shield Center in Englewood held a special basketball tournament, giving students an alternative to the streets.

“Many of these kids are one bad relationship away from being involved in activities they shouldn’t be,” Captain Zimmerman said. “We want to make sure the young people in our community have something constructive to do during this time off and are not engaging in any risky behaviors that would have negative and long-lasting effects on their lives,”

Englewood is historically one of Chicago’s more troubled communities, with hundreds of shootings every year. This event gave students a safe place to stay while school was out for the holiday, giving working parents peace of mind.

“Most of our young people love basketball, and this is an easy draw to get them to come out and enjoy a basketball tournament,” Captain Zimmerman said.

The 5-on-5 tournament consisted of eight teams with up to eight kids on each team. Middle school and high school teams were separated to balance the playing field.

On the line was more than bragging rights; a generous benefactor put up $500 for prize money. Each winning team won $250.

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