CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Busy Body Incorporated in Champaign hosted the first annual Hood Hoops Tournament over the weekend to help put unity back into the community.
Marc Levi is a Chicagoland native who’s been planting his roots in Champaign for the last decade. He said instead of seeing individual cities try to tackle their violence problems alone, he wants them to work together. His basketball tournament is just one way he hopes to achieve Victory Over Violence.
“Normally the word hood is attached to negativity and also to people in the community as well,” Levi said. “So, our thing is changing the narrative.”
It takes more than one person to make up a community and the Busy Body president said it’ll take more than one community to stop violence across Central Illinois.
“Hood is for heading our own destinies and hoops is helping our ordain purposes surface,” Levi said.
He said there’s no need for one organization to try to do it all when there are so many organizations ready to help across the area.
“I kind of try to serve to be the needle and thread to put our organizations together,” Levi said. “When one program ends, another one will still be going. But if we’re working together, then we’ll have them working together as well.”
Head coach Myles Roosevelt said these are the types of role models young people need. He said the best way to teach the value of working together is to lead by example.
“Being able to share those stories with each other and being able to have the kids witness what they could be like as they kind of follow their role models around,” Roosevelt said.
“That’s why I try to catch them at this age where we can try to just refocus them and give them something more to work towards and live for,” Levi said.
Calvin Carson of Decatur said this event brings back hopeful memories.
“I’m glad to actually bring it back, because it seemed like we were missing that for a long time,” Carson said. “So, yeah, the positive of it is really a blessing,” said Carson.
“It goes beyond today and because this event is annual, but we need to be together and be a family every day,” Levi said.
He said he didn’t have quite have the turnout he wanted, but pulling these organizations together and seeing people enjoy themselves was an accomplishment of its own.