Cleveland Cavaliers, City of Cleveland team up to launch Hoops After Dark

The NBA-Style Tournament for men aged 18-26 supports Mayor Justin Bibb's vision to create safer neighborhoods.

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The City of Cleveland will launch Hoops After Dark powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, a six-week NBA-style basketball tournament and development program designed for men ages 18-26. The program is part of Mayor Justin Bibb’s comprehensive violence prevention strategy.

Tryouts for the eight-team league will occur on Monday, June 27th and Wednesday, June 29th at the Cudell and Zelma George Recreation Centers. The tournament action runs July 11th through August 19th.

“Public safety is our number one priority, and we are focused on creating opportunities for our residents to participate in a variety of programs providing intervention and education,” stated Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “We are excited to launch Hoops After Dark in the community and are so grateful to the Cavs for their ongoing support of our efforts to stop violence before it starts.”

This initiative has re-imagined the formerly successful midnight basketball program by using sports and wraparound services to create community, offer customized interventions and mitigate participation in crime.

Hoops After Dark powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers participants will be required to attend life skills workshops an hour before each game. The workshops include a variety of topics such as job readiness, financial literacy, gun safety and more. Participants will also be connected to services that support optimal wellness in the areas of emotional, social, spiritual, physical, environmental and occupational health. The basketball format will include NBA-style activities such as tryouts, a draft, a championship game and other celebratory events.

“The Hoops After Dark initiative to give young men in our community positive direction and opportunities to help them find the right path is the type of program we enthusiastically support,” said Cavaliers CEO Nic Barlage. “We are investing in the future of these men and in our city and neighborhoods.”

The six-week tournament action begins July 11th through August 19th with two games and practices held each week at the Cudell Recreation Center (1910 West Blvd.) and Zelma George Neighborhood Recreation Center (3155 MLK Jr. Dr.) Both rec centers have refurbished basketball courts courtesy of the Cavaliers. Games will be played on Monday and Wednesday nights with required personal development workshops beginning one hour before each game.

Tryouts to make the roster for one of the eight Hoops After Dark powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers teams will take place from 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. on Monday, June 27th at the Cudell Neighborhood Recreation Center and on Wednesday, June 29th at the Zelma George Neighborhood Recreation Center. Transportation to these locations will be provided from six neighborhood recreation centers:

Cleveland Estabrook (4125 Fulton Rd.)

Gunning Park (16700 Puritas Ave.)

Glenville (680 E. 113th)

Frederick Douglass (15401 Miles Ave.)

Cleveland Thurgood Marshall (8611 Hough)

Fairfax (2335 E. 82nd St.)

*Participants must arrive by 8:00 p.m. to take advantage of the transportation opportunity.

For complete details about Hoops After Dark powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, visit

Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Email him at Did you enjoy this edition of Right Down Euclid? You can get it in your inbox two to three times a week by subscribing here. All it takes is either your Facebook account or email address!


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