Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 7, 2012

COMMUNITY: Youth basketball league seeks support for expansion plan.

Youth basketball league seeks support for expansion plan

Niagara Gazette — Eric Davis sees it all the time.

Young, inner-city kids, mostly elementary school-aged, getting a sparkle in their eyes as they show off their hoops skills in front of their friends.

Davis, the director of Cataract City Basketball League, believes his program has been successful in giving younger kids in Niagara Falls goals to shoot for in life, both on and off the court.

He also acknowledges that keeping the program alive and extending it to kids of all ages in need isn’t easy, especially in a community where poverty is high and public and private financing is often scarce.

“We’re trying to get these kids off the streets,” Davis said. “That’s the biggest thing. There’s no recreation here for them or anything. I feel like we could do a lot more.”

Davis is one of several volunteers who have been working in recent years in an effort to grow the Cataract City basketball program, which is offered through a collaboration with the local non-violence advocacy group, Operation SNUG. The program is organized under the Amateur Athletic Union and has involved dozens of local students from the fourth to eighth grades in travel league basketball games and tournaments. A league organized by the group this summer at the new Legends Park drew more than 240 participants.

Michael Cole, an associate with Operation SNUG, said the games offer representatives from his group opportunities to engage the young basketball players in conversations about more important matters - school, family and life.

“We’ve got a chance to mentor these kids and give them a chance to see how we are conducting ourselves and carrying ourselves and making them see where we are at. It’s like a trickle-down effect. We’re really just trying to make a difference in their lives,” Cole said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results