Police shoot hoops with youth at Winnipeg basketball tourney
Boys and Girls Clubs invitational gives police important chance to engage with youth, chief says
Members of the Winnipeg Police Service hit the court Sunday for a good cause.
Teams of boys and girls as young as 11 took each other on at St. Paul's High School this weekend in the fourth annual Boys and Girls Clubs' Invitational Basketball Tournament.
The tournament aims to encourage youth to get active and form healthy habits early in life, Beth Creed with the Boys and Girls Clubs said.
"Sport plays a huge role in the healthy development of young people that goes beyond physical benefits," Creed said in a statement.
"The same skills our youth learn through sports will translate into valuable life-skills that will allow them to become resilient and proactive members in their own communities."
Chief Devon Clunis said the WPS participated in the event because they believe in the work of the Boys and Girls Club.
Clunis has been playing in the local police basketball league since his second year on the force. In that time, he says he's played in front of thousands of kids at schools across Winnipeg at similar events.
The police chief said he was excited to shoot some hoops again Sunday, and welcomed the competition. The police played against Victor Mager Club's team of 16- and 17-year-olds.
"I'll take on anyone, all-comers, but I'm sure lots of them are going to want to guard the chief," Clunis said,
While he's still an impressive outside shooter and dribbler, Clunis said he thinks his best years on the court are probably behind him.
"I don't know if I would say I am good anymore. I could say I was very good at one point. Now I just love to play," Clunis said, laughing.
The event was open to the public. Attendance was free with a donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg.