Gang members take rivalry from street to the basketball court - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Gang members take rivalry from the street to the basketball court

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The battle was on the basketball court, not the street this Saturday afternoon.

"It feels great knowing that we all came together, set our differences aside, left it to the streets... the Peace tournament helped us achieve our goals," said Duan Hill, a Peace League player.

For Hill that includes one day playing in the NBA. Even though the road to success has been bumpy. Hill was arrested nearly two years ago on a drug charge, but here he's on a winning team and a different track, even he admits is challenging.

"It was difficult playing with them every Monday but now that the NBA players came and we're finally realizing that this is not what we should be on, so we came together to do what we have to do," said Hill.

"Six different factions from the neighborhood that are present here in this community that are in this gym today and here's the other thing, not one single incident in a contact sport, not one incident," said Father Michael Pfleger.

For the second year in a row, rival gang members filled this gymnasium at Saint Sabina in Auburn Gresham for the Peace Basketball Tournament hosted by Father Michael Pfleger.

"We do 12 on each team, 48 kids are involved. I can't thank these NBA players enough. The power they have, you know, we're not at the Berto Center, we're not at downtown, we're not on the north side, this is the hood," said Pfleger.

Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah came out and Derrick Rose was seated two rows above Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"It's events like this that remind us the bonds... that brings a community together and I'm so proud of what Father Pfleger has done, the athletes that are here, the coaches that are here but most important, the parents that are here for their kids and to support them," said Mayor Emanuel.

Basketball - it's not a solution, but many agree, it's a start.

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