Hundreds of kids will play in a basketball tournament Aug. 17. Credit: LISC Chicago/Provided

DOWNTOWN — Hundreds of kids will play in a massive basketball tournament Downtown as part of an anti-violence program this month.

The tournament is part of Hoops in the Hood, which gives thousands of athletes aged 8-19 a chance to play basketball throughout the summer as a way to keep busy and stay safe. The season will culminate in the Downtown tournament on Aug. 17, and more than 400 kids from 22 neighborhoods are expected to participate, according to a news release from LISC Chicago, one of the organizers.

Bulls alumni Bob Love and Mickey Johnson will be at the tournament, and participating kids will receive a free backpack and school supplies.

More than 26,000 Chicago kids and teens have played in the Hoops in the Hood league since it kicked off 13 years ago. They spend their summer playing basketball, their games serving to reclaim public spaces around the city so they have something to do and community members can come out to watch the games.

The tournament’s opening ceremony starts 9:45 a.m. and the games run 10 a.m.-3 p.m on Columbus Drive between Balbo Drive and Roosevelt Road.

Columbus Drive will be shut down between Balbo Drive and Roosevelt Road while the kids are playing.

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