The MAP PAL Basketball League launched November 12th in partnership with PAL, NYCHA, NYPD, DYCD, DOP, MAP Community Centers and Next STEPS. The league currently has 130 youth enrolled across 13 MAP communities, and has facilitated 24 workshops, including conflict mediation, life skills, anti-violence, community engagement, teen dating and more. Youth even had an opportunity to meet Smush Parker, a former player for the LA Lakers, who spoke about teamwork and offered advice about how to overcome differences.
The Brownsville team is represented by two teams. The main Brownsville team is led by Thaddeus Canty (Rise Boro), the Next STEPS Program Coordinator for Brownsville Houses. Thaddeus has a team of nine youth, a majority of whom are part of from the Next STEPS program in Brownsville, and has led a workshop called “New Day New Mind,” which is aimed at helping youth overcome the obstacles they face every day.
The league uses basketball as a means to engage youth and helps participants overcome barriers that cause conflict by creating a safe environment where they can gain and practice new skills. The league also connects youth to programs and services.
As coaches, staff from community centers, Next STEP Coordinators and NCOs set a positive example for participants. In a true team effort, the NYPD provides transportation for youth participants and partners, and ensures the safety of our youth at as well as to and from the games.