In their continuing effort to curb violence, the Annapolis Youth Athletic Association and the Mayor's Office of Community Service and Substance Abuse are conducting the second annual Peace in the Streets Summer Basketball Festival beginning today and running through Sunday at Truxton Park in Annapolis.
Teams from Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, N.J., Greenville, N.C. and New Bern, N.C. will take part in the xTC three-day event, which organizers hope will provide a positive outlet for participants and spectators alike.
"We're trying to do something positive and what better way than by bringing communities together to play the universal sport of basketball?" said festival chairman Barry Booth Sr., who also serves as commissioner of the Annapolis Summer Basketball League. "Last year's festival made me a true believer because we had over 2,000 people show up, and we didn't have one single incident."
More than 250 players from 20 teams will compete in four age brackets ranging from 12-and-under to unlimited. No team will be crowned champion and each team is guaranteed to play five games.
The 18-and-under and the men's unlimited divisions, which were dominated by the Baltimore teams last season, should be the biggest draw.
Baltimore's men's team will include players such as Dunbar graduates Michael Lloyd (Syracuse), Donta Bright (Massachusetts) and Keith Booth (Maryland).
Annapolis men's squad has its share of college players including Tracey Evans (Hawaii), Rob Wooster (St. Francis, Pa.), Dennis Edwards (Fort Hayes, Kan.) and James Norris (Navy).