PeacePlayers International first came to Northern Ireland in 2002, and since then, the organization has become well known throughout the different communities across the province. Through the involvement of our American fellows in local basketball clubs, PPI-NI has been able to build strong relationships within the Northern Ireland basketball community.
On Sunday 22nd April, several members of the PPI-NI staff participated in the inaugural All-Star basketball event, which took place in the University of Ulster, Jordanstown.
The event was organized by the Courtside Collective, including local PPI-NI Project Coordinator, Tony McGaharan, who emceed the event. Fellow Meghan Houlihan finished third the in the coed 3-point shoot-out, just missing out for a spot in the finals, and Fellow Rory Leddy O’Neil and local coach Connor McElroy were voted in as All-Stars and represented Belfast in the exhibition game. Local Coordinators Joanne Fitzpatrick and Darryl Petticrew played their role as the entertainment coordinators, running competitions for children during the time-outs and quarter breaks, while Gareth Harper, PPI-NI’s Managing Director, brought his entire family to support the event.
The event was another great example of how sport can bring people together, regardless of background, nationality or religion; a core theme of the PPI mission. The two All-Star teams comprised players from across Northern Ireland and spectators travelled from as a far a field as County Donegal, Armagh, Newry and L-Derry to watch their favorite players.
Click here to view the BBC Newsline report.