YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A basketball league created to help reduce violence is up and rolling for its third year.
The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. League was created in 2021 in Youngstown. It provides young adults from 18-24 a space to play basketball while also attaining other resources and skills.
A press conference was held Tuesday to give details on this year’s season.
In addition to the basketball league, players will receive educational training, employment assistance, life skills training and mental health resources.
“We’re gonna have incentives that they can actually use that makes them wanna come in and engage. Not just come play basketball, but actually engage in the program aspect of it. So I’m really excited,” said William Miller, director of the league.
Miller hopes that providing this space for young adults to play and work together can help deter violence in the future.
The league is run out of the Central YMCA of Youngstown. The Youngstown City Police Department, the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence and My Brother’s Keeper have all teamed up to support the league and its values.
Registration is open now through June 14. There will also be a draft day on June 11. The first game is set to take place on July 2.
Miller said the league is not just for men, but he encourages women to join as well.
Anyone interested in registering just needs to go down to the YMCA with a valid ID. You can also call 330-744-8411 ext. 131 and email email@example.com for more information.