Mention The Dome – an East Baltimore basketball court nationally renowned in street basketball circles – and the names of famous college and professional players - like Carmelo Anthony, Sam Cassell, Juan Dixon and Muggsy Bogues - are sure to come up.
For three decades, The Dome has been home to some of the world’s best basketball players, like Anthony, Bogues, Cassell and Dixon, while also serving as a place where Baltimoreans come together to watch basketball at its best.
But on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, The Dome will switch gears and host hundreds of children from local recreation centers who will descend on the hollowed court to compete in Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s 2011 NHL Street Hockey Tournament.
About 60 students from six city recreation centers will travel to The Dome to square off in the Council President’s inaugural street hockey tournament. The tournament culminates a summer full of street hockey for the youth at these centers. In June, the Capitals donated six complete sets of brand new street hockey equipment to each center (see attached photo) and trained staff on rules and coaching technique. In July, the Caps hosted street hockey clinics at three centers – complete with giveaways and visits from the mascot, Slapshot. The youth will be coached by former Washington Capitals players.
The street hockey tournament, which will coincide with National Night Out, serves as a continuation of the Council President’s P.L.A.Y. (Productive Lives, Active Youth) campaign. P.L.A.Y. provides Baltimore’s youth with a wide range of opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence, develop leadership skills, learn from positive role models, and be rewarded athletically for their academic achievements. P.L.A.Y. encourages them to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.