ESPN Chicago.com: Isiah turns to hoops for peace

Isiah turns to hoops for peace
ESPN Chicago.com: September 22, 2013

Isiah turns to hoops for peace

"...Thomas isn't just saying Chicago needs help, he's also trying to provide it. He has teamed up with St. Sabina on the South Side and father Michael Pfleger to create the PEACE basketball tournament, which will unite rival gang members through basketball in hopes of ceasing the violence between them. The tournament will be held at St. Sabina's gymnasium from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

"Father Pfleger does a Friday night peace march, and he invited me out because of the work I've been doing with youth and gang violence starting back in '86, when I had my first 'No Crime Day' in Detroit," Thomas said. "When we went out marching, and he and I were talking to people in the community and ran across some of the gang members and started talking to them and let them know we were there for them.

"I said, 'Would you guys like to play in a basketball game and all of us get together and stop killing one another?' They asked if I was serious, and Father Pfleger took over and said, 'We're serious, and I'll arrange a game.' That's how it started."...