Local teens, youth services workers and law enforcement officials joined together for the Annual Shannon Grant Basketball Tournament last weekend,in a show of solidarity among youth and those who fight for their safety.
On Saturday, August 15, teams from Everett, Malden, Somerville, Revere and Winthrop competed in the 12th Annual Shannon Grant Basketball Tournament atHarry Della Russo Stadium in Revere. This year’s event included a three-point contest, pizza, a cookout, an onsite mobile vaccine unit, recognition from state elected officials and a visit from Malden Mayor Gary Christenson.
Revere won the tournament in a close game with Winthrop and also won the three-point contest!
The tournament earned citations from Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Ronald Mariano, Rep. Jessica Giannino, Rep. Jeff Turco, Senate President Karen Spilka and Sen. Joseph Boncore.
“We were honored to be able to host this year’s event and even more proud of our team for bringing home the win this year,” said Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo. “Any time we are able to have youth participate with police in athletic competition or other relationship-building opportunities is a win for our city. Everyone is equal on the court: it’s all about who scores the most baskets.”
The event is run each year by the Metro Mayors Coalition, a group of cities and towns in Boston’s urban core that exchange information and find common solutions to regional issues.
The annual basketball tournament has been held since 2009 to bring together youth and police officers from the communities involved in the Metro Mayors Shannon Grant Community Safety Initiative, which is a state-funded program that supports regional approaches to combating gang violence through prevention and intervention. It was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic, but organizers and players were thrilled to be able to return to the court this year.
“For the past 15 years, the Shannon Grant Program has played a significant role in the decline of youth gang violence across the Commonwealth. It makes me proud to see local teens, youth services workers and law enforcement officials join for the 12th year in harmony to support teens in our community who face the dangers of gang violence every day” said Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop), the Senate sponsor of the program’s budget line item. “This annual event is a representation of the influence that law enforcement can have in building a foundation of trust and unity in our communities. I am pleased to see the Commonwealth make the right choice every year by continuing to invest in our youth and their future.”
“Gang violence harms our communities, our families and our youth,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro (D-East Boston), House sponsor of the program’s budget line item. “The Shannon Grant addresses the leading causes of gang involvement and offers young people alternative pathways. The Shannon Grant plays a critical role in giving youth the opportunity to thrive by funding social intervention and community support. I’m proud that we’ve been able to secure more funding for the Shannon Grant each year, and I look forward to seeing greater investment in our youth.”
“One of the Somerville Police Department’s core tenants is a commitment to community policing to build trust and relationships with the community,” said Somerville Mayor and Metro Mayors Coalition Chair Joseph Curtatone. “Annual events like the Shannon Tournament help to bring police and youth together in a comfortable way that allows those relationships to be forged.”
For more information on the Shannon Grant or the Metro Mayors Coalition, contact Diego Huezo at [email protected] and 617-933-0711 or visit www.mapc.org.
See photos from the tournament at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWvdhhE.