PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One small way a community is fighting gun violence is with a basketball tournament. On Friday night, these young people were so excited to see a lot of their favorite players who happen to be from their own neighborhoods run up and down the court.
It’s game time. Basketball fans from all over Philadelphia are participating in the annual Danny Rumph Classic Tournament.READ MORE: 'Most Egregious Story I've Ever Heard': Local Man Has Prostate Removed After Mistaken Cancer Diagnosis
“We’ve had James Harden come out and play, Lou Williams,” one man said.
“It’s basketball so that’s always exciting. To see the youth get something different than just the culture of the violence that’s going on,” 19-year-old Gabriel Palmer said.
He’s a part of the Castoffs to Conquerors youth mentoring program run by Pastor Carl Day.
“We’ve been having them on the courts every single week since June, the beginning of June, and they’ve been perfectly safe and fine and we’ve been having some great moments,” Pastor Day said.
Tickets to this signature event were donated by the Daniel E. Rumph II Foundation. It was started 16 years ago after Viola Owens lost her son, Daniel Rumph, on Mother’s Day. He collapsed following a pick-up game at a local rec center named after him.READ MORE: One Of Last Marines To Leave Afghanistan Returns Home To Hero's Welcome In Ridley Township
“My son loved basketball. We had no idea he had a heart condition,” Owens said.
This event raises money and brings awareness to cardiac arrest. Their motto is to save the next bright star, which has now taken on another meaning — gun violence.
The city released data showing a slight decline in shootings and homicides going into August. In response earlier this week, Mayor Jim Kenney said “this is a hopeful trend that we’ll continue to feed and make sure things go in the right direction. It’s going to be a long, long process.”
To aid in that process, the city announced applications are being accepted for the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant program.
Community-based programs could be awarded up to $1 million. They must be geared towards men of color between the ages of 16 and 34, and offer trauma-informed and restorative practices, along with safe havens and mentorships on and off the court.
On Thursday, Allen Iverson was courtside, just one of many all-stars to attend. But to young men like Palmer, they are just excited to spend time playing basketball with Pastor Day.MORE NEWS: WATCH: Surveillance Video Catches Olney Drive-By Shooting That Killed 1, Injured 5
It’s programs and mentorships like Pastor Day’s that can apply for the grant money. The deadline is Sept. 3.