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Hope on the Hill’s first church league basketball program has given local youth something to shoot for this summer.
“It’s been a great success,” said the Rev. Wayne Murray, executive director of Hope on the Hill. “It gives kids something to do. Most of the kids (85-90 percent) are off the street, which makes it quite successful.”
The program, which started in April and will end with finals July 14, has drawn 202 boys and girls, ages 8-17. Eleven churches fielded 14 teams for the league, directed by Dennis Brown.
Players who are not members of their team’s church must attend church at least twice a month to play on the team.
“Mary Cunningham has really been the force behind it (the church league),” Murray said.
The church league teams play at the Hope on the Hill Barr Street Family Life Center from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and from 9 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Saturdays. The center is at 612 E. Meeting St. and game admission is $2.
Murray said the league has had "great suport from parents and churches," with about 275-300 fans turning out on game days.
“We might be doing it (the league) again in September,” Murray said. “All the churches want to keep going.”
Hope offers hoops camp
Hope on the Hill will offer a youth basketball camp for ages 5 to 17 from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday, July 16-19, at the Hope on the Hill Barr Street Family Life Center. Cost is $25. For details or to sign up, call Mary Cunningham at (803) 287-8885.