Basketball tournament returns to Bed-Stuy despite initial safety concerns

Posted: Updated:
BED-STUY -

A Bed-Stuy tradition will continue this year thanks to community support and some help from News 12.

Dozens of participants will be on Lafayette Avenue this weekend for a basketball tournament that has been going on for years.

The Bed-Stuy Basketball Tournament is happening a week later than usual this year due to a delay in getting a permit.

Police sources tell News 12 there were some concerns about gang activity in the area, which initially made the 79th Precinct reluctant to issue a permit.

An NYPD spokesperson told News 12, "The commanding officer of the 79th Precinct is in active communication with event organizers. The NYPD and the community have a shared responsibility to ensure the safety of the participants and community members."

The permit was eventually issued Friday after a petition circulated the neighborhood and News 12 made some calls.

Those who take part in the basketball league say it actually helps make the community safer.

"I believe that the tournament does reduce crime in the area because we have different blocks that come to the tournament and this is like neutral ground," said Elijah Reddick. "It's like a peace, it's like church on Sunday."

In addition to the game, food and giveaways will be available to neighbors in the area.

The competition kicks off Sunday afternoon.

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