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Girls from Esawiah pose with their coach, Basil, and LDP volunteers before playing in a "mini-basket" game.
In preparation for the 2010 season of the PPI – ME Peace Basketball League, a unique project bringing together Arab, Jewish and integrated teams, PPI – ME athletes of all ages have been taking part in friendly scrimmages. Girls between 8 and 10 years old from Beit Safafa, the Keshet School, Esawiah and the Hand in Hand School (the “Mini-Basket” bracket) have played in several tournaments, learning the fundamentals of basketball and becoming more familiar with the rules of the game.
"College" players driving to the basket.
Meanwhile, PPI – ME’s “College” level teams, ages 10-13, have also seen regular on-the-court action. Each Friday, girls from Beit Safafa and the Keshet School gather at the Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem for “Game Day,” an afternoon of scrimmaging on mixed teams. After the girls finish, the boys of Beit Safafa and Katamon take the floor. Not only do these events provide an opportunity for PPI – ME youth to gain game-time experience, but they also represent a marked increase in twinning activity. This programming season, many PPI – ME teams are twinning at least once per week, if not more. This has immeasurably strengthened the relationships between participants, who have bonded over basketball in spite of language and other barriers.
Efrat from the Keshet School exchanges a high-five with PPI - ME Basketball Operations Manager Vito Gilic'.
Jump ball to start the LDP vs. AIS game
After tipping off at the American International School (AIS) tournament, the Leadership Development Program (LDP) squad has continued to sharpen its skills with numerous scrimmages. LDP boys played against the Jerusalem School as well as the Anglican School, posting one win and one loss thus far. The Girls’ LDP kept its winning streak alive with a victory over AIS, which recently traveled to Jerusalem from northern Israel in order to play against this talented PPI – ME team. With many more games already scheduled and the LDP slated to participate in the next AIS tournament on February 28th, the group is poised for a busy – and most importantly, fun – spring.
Coach Samer Elayan leads the team
Want to take a simple action to support the boys and girls of PeacePlayers International – Middle East? We’re now eligible for inclusion in the latest edition of CauseWorld, a mobile app that lets you earn “karmas” – badges backed up by donations from Citi and Kraft – for your favorite causes just by visiting your own local hangouts. Vote for PPI to be one of three new Causes included in this round. (You can find us fourth from the bottom of the list on the right.) There’s no registration required and, with just a few seconds of your time, you’ll help others support PPI for a lifetime!