Local Leaders to Join DA Conley at Annual Basketball Tourney

BOSTON, Feb. 20, 2013—Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s annual Basketball for Peace tournament tomorrow will feature appearances by members of the Boston City Council and Boston School Committee, a UMass Boston vice chancellor and basketball hall-of-famer, a Boston Police detective, a former head of the City’s street worker program, and Suffolk County’s senior advocate for the victims of violent crime.

They, along with former Boston Celtics guard Dana Barros, will take to the parquet at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Dorchester on Thursday for Conley’s annual youth basketball games, which bring city teens together with Suffolk County prosecutors, victim advocates, civilian investigators, and support staff. Also on hand will be local police, non-profit groups, and social service providers.

This year’s teams will include youngsters from the Kroc Center and the Salvation Army’s Bridging the Gap program; the Dorchester Youth Collaborative; the Revere Police Activities League; the Leahy-Holloran Community Center in Dorchester; the Shelburne Community Center in Roxbury; and the Teen Center at St. Peter’s in Dorchester.

For the second year in a row, Conley will be welcoming six honorary team captains from the community, with each being recognized with an award denoting his or her status as a role model for city youth. They are:

  1. Christopher Byner, director of external affairs for the Boston Centers For Youth & Families, past director of the Streetworker Initiative, and participant in the “Boston Miracle;”
  2. Boston Police Detective Vincent DiFazio, whose assignments have included District B-2, the Youth Violence Strike Force, the Community Disorders Unit, and a legendary 12-year term in the School Police Unit.
  3. Alfreda Harris, vice-chair of the Boston School Committee, recipient of the 2010 Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame, and past project director of Northeastern University’s Sport in Society center;
  4. Kara Hayes, winner of the 2012 Access to Justice Award and current director of the DA’s Victim Witness Assistance Program, which organizes safety planning, transitional assistance, and countless other services to the victims of crime in Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop;
  5. Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, who represents District 7, once served as an advisor to Governor Deval Patrick, and currently sits on the boards of Heading Home, Inc., and the Global Citizens Circle; and
  6. Vice Chancellor Charlie Titus of UMass Boston, the college’s first director of athletics and an inaugural member of the Little East Conference Hall of Fame.

Basketball for Peace will be held tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Kroc Center, located at 650 Dudley St. in Dorchester. Media are welcome to attend.