EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Over the last year, COVID-19 has canceled a lot of things.
This includes the Inner City Youth Basketball League in Evansville.
However, players are finally making their long-awaited return to the court this year.
“Well, I been waiting for this,” 10-year old Michael Robertson said.
Children like Robertson walked into the C.K. Newsome Center on Sunday afternoon - ready to play.
“Our nonprofit, Boss Inc., and ‘Mothers Holdin it Down,’ which are two organizations that collaborate for the past six years to actually put on the Inner City Basketball League for the youth in our community, grade levels kindergarten through eighth grade,” Reverend William Payne said.
A completely free event for all participants, organizers say everyone walks away with something.
“It’s more or less the youth that is, I wouldn’t say underprivileged, it’s just that they might not be able to afford those $400-500 travel teams, and everybody is all included and gets to participate,” Tameka Watson, the creator of ‘Mothers Holdin It Down’ said. “Everyone has a team and makes them feel like they belong.”
When Watson says the league is for every kid that meets the age requirement, she means it.
Robertson even knew a few familiar faces on the court.
“My brother, well, I play before him. My little cousins, they’ll play first and then I’ll play next,” Robertson said.
Those in the community say events like these help our youth stay active and engaged.
“Keeping their minds from idling and getting in the wrong stuff, this gives them something positive to do,” Mariama Wilson, the Pigeon Township Trustee said. “Burn some energy, it’s just wonderful. It’s free - you just can’t beat that, you really can’t.”
Organizers say their goal every year is to turn no child away, as well as have a day full of fun.
“Events like this is to let the community know that you may hear things about the south side all the time, but it’s not always what you hear in the news,” Watson said. “There is some good, and there are people out here trying to do some good. But this is what we do for our community daily, we live this life.”
Click here to stay up to date on upcoming league plans.
Reverend Payne says they are trying to put together soccer and tennis leagues for the summer as well.