The "Game" Returns: Annual White Plains Youth vs Police Basketball Tournament
by Frank Williams, Jr. and Warren Rosenberg - April 23, 2022
Interrupted by Covid-19 the last two years, The Annual Basketball Championship Game between the White Plains Youth Bureau youth and White Plains Police Officers returned to Ridgeway Alliance Gym, Saturday April 23, 2022. The “Game,” as it is called, has been a happening in White Plains for nearly ten years.
The “Game” is more than a basketball game, it sets the stage for year-long bragging rights between White Plains Youth Bureau youth and local Police Officers. The program is sponsored by the White Plains My Brothers Keeper and designed to build relationships between youth and the police.
In addition to, and in support of the My Brothers Keeper initiative, the Task Force on 21st Century Policing also established by President Obama in 2014 called for more positive engagement between police and youth as a way of fostering trust between young people and law enforcement. The “Game” is a shining example such engagement.
On hand to support their respective teams were the White Plains Youth Bureau’s Executive Director, Frank Williams, Jr., and the City of White Plains Chief of Police, Joseph Castelli. Also on hand to cheer on both teams and to present the Championship Trophy to the winning team was White Plains Mayor Tom Roach.
The “Game” started off with each team scoring early in what looked to be an evenly matched contest with scoreboard showing the youth with a one point advantage over the police 8-7, just past halfway through the opening quarter and, as the quarter ended, the score stood at 14-15 with the police holding a one point advantage. Both teams showed strong ball-handling skills, accurate shooting, and strong defense and showed respect for each other as athletes in a hard-fought game.
The youth then took over running up a ten point advantage at the half, 35-25, a sixteen point advantage at the end of the third quarter, 48-32, and a dominating final score of 63-44. After congratulating each other in a sincere post-game handshake line, Mayor Roach joined the teams at center court to present the 2022 Championship Trophy to the WPYB Youth.
Wrapping it all up, WPYB Executive Director, Frank Williams, noted, “It’s not only fun, its competitive, exciting and each team plays to win.”