Niagara Gazette — For a group of Niagara Falls youngsters, the final few day of spring break 2013 have been filled with layups and fastbreaks courtesy of one local organization.
The Niagara Falls chapter of Mad Dads coordinated a three-day, three-on-three basketball tournament this week at the gymnasium located at Packard Court in the city.
The event, which started Thursday and continues today, gave teams from the Falls and surrounding communities the chance to compete against one another on the hardcourt for fun and prizes, including T-shirts, trophies and, for lucky participants, BMX bikes.
The tourney featured about 50 participants who played in three age groups, ages 8 to 12, 13 to 15 and 15 and up.
“It’s just something for the kids to do to try to keep them out of trouble,” said Roderick Haslip, an associate director of the Mad Dads chapter in the Falls and one of the coordinators of the three-day basketball tournament.
The organization’s name is short for “Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder.” There are 16 chapters in the U.S. The Niagara Falls chapter is one of the newest.
The signature component of the Mad Dads program is street patrol, but there are many other aspects of the community based group, including basketball programs, field trips, tutoring, job assistance, role modeling and more. The program is designed to “take back the streets, one corner and one block at a time.”