The season began in early June at the Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities Center, with 52 teams participating in the league, sponsored this year by local Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry.
Gregory Coles, the chairman of Elmcor as well as the founding CEO of A Child’s Place, said that since the ElmCor center and the league were established in 1965, it has served as an incubator for NBA talent, launching the careers of basketball stars such as Kenny Anderson, Kevin Smith and Reggie Carter.
“I played in the tournaments in 1965 when I was nine years old. I continued to play and was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship for Clemson University, and when I was done there I came back so I could do the same thing they did for me and put back into the community,” Cole said.
He explained that beyond the on-the-court benefits that kids can glean from the program, it serves as a positive influence in their lives to keep them off the streets and out of trouble, as it did for him when he was a youth.
Elmcor’s league caters to children up to 18 as well as a Pro Am, with divisions split into two-year intervals.
At the playoffs on Sat. and Sun., Aug. 2 and 3, Ball Hoggs beat the Long Island Heat, 43-23, P.S. 156 failed to stop Bellos, who beat them 43-41 and the Hollywood Hustlers defeated the Rim Rockets, 30-11 in the 12-and-under category. Kelly Blue Showtime beat the younger Ball Hoggs, 24-13, in the eight-and-under bracket. In the 14 and under division, the Long Island Heat topped St. Margaret, 53-26.
On Aug. 16, the ElmCor gymnasium with its seating capacity of 1,000 will play host to the league finals.