New Hoopstars Tournament Offers Kids Safe Alternative

- Rockford- The sound of the round ball hitting the court will soon fill Patriots' Gateway community center for a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman organized the competition.

"I chose basketball because I think it's a very unique sport. It attracts kids from all over the community all different backgrounds, so it's a way to reach out to the community all over," said Stadelman.

The competition gives area youth a safe alternative over Labor Day Weekend after both Rockford’s On the Waterfront Festival and Air Show were shut down.

"With those events no longer taking place in Rockford it's a great opportunity to have the community wide event that kids can take part in free,” explained Stadelman.

Thanks to corporate sponsorship there's no fee for players. The tournament will cost $1 dollar for people who want to watch and all that money is being donated to Patriots' Gateway.

"Unfortunately, it takes money to pay for programs whether it's to pay for staff to work with the kids to take trips to buy games, to buy supplies, basketballs," said Patriots’ Gateway Director Cherene Sweeney.

Sweeney is grateful the organization was chosen to host the event. The proceeds will help keep their programming available to Rockford youth.

"I feel it's like just a wonderful opportunity for Patriots’ Gateway. I mean we appreciate so much Senator Stadelman partnering with us to do this event," said Sweeney.

Students in 3rd through 8th grades can sign up and turn in their forms at Patriots’ Gateway located at 615 S. 5th St. or Senator Stadelman’s office, 200 S. Wyman St., Suite 301. Forms are also available at

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