Published on May 12th, 2017 | by Desaye Kenton0
Haron Hargrave Sports Foundation ‘H2O’ Presents Ballin’ 4 Peace Event
Community activist, Haron Hargrave has been fighting against violence for his hometown Queens and the other boroughs of New York City through his H2O Sports Foundation. On May 13, H2O Sports Foundation hosts its 3rd annual ‘Ballin 4 Peace’ event in Elmcor Recreation Center in Corona, Queens New York.
Hargrave has been playing the game of basketball since he was 3 years old. He went on to become the captain of the Campus Magnet high school basketball team and his talent earned him a scholarship at Sacramento State University in California. It eventually led Hargrave to being drafted for the Continental Basketball Association. He played professional basketball in Europe, Dominican Republic, China, and more.
The Queens, NY native is known for also playing a lot of street ball in New York City in all the top tournaments including Rucker Park EBC tournament in Harlem, Hoops in the Sun in the Bronx, and Dyckman Basketball tournament in Washington Heights.
However, losing one of his childhood best friends Mark Arrington, to gun violence in his Queens neighborhood, while attending Sacramento State is what led Hargrave to working and taking action in his community.
“One of my best friends past away while I was away in college and I started up a Queens week,” he said. “It’s actually a Queens’s day where I start up a one-day basketball tournament that I did at Roy Wilkins Park and I used to get a lot of people to come out and watch the games because I wanted to do something positive.”
Hargrave’s work in his community deepened after the devastating news pertaining the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. This led Hargrave to start Ballin 4 Peace, an annual event where children and celebrities play basketball and features live performances from celebrities and community youth bands.
“What triggered me to start Ballin 4 Peace was all the negative stuff that was going on in the community and not just in New York but all over the world,” Hargrave said. “I wanted to do something positive and my message with Ballin 4 Peace is peace through sports.”
The former ball player explained that there is a lot of violence going on in our communities and people aren’t saying anything or they are saying stuff but they’re not acting on it. Hargrave decided he would be the one to take action and matters into his own hand to get people’s attention. He then started a charity event that would bring people together in a positive way. Below is a preview put together by Hargrave in anticipation of his upcoming event.
“Everybody does a peace march and I just wanted to do something different,” he said. “Even if its that one day of peace I wanted to get everybody out there in a good environment, have a good time, have fun, enjoy life and talk about some of the good things that’s going on instead of always picking on the negative things.
Ballin 4 Peace previously took place at Baruch College and York College’s Health and Physical Education building and had a turn out of approximately 2,000 people. Last year’s list of New York celebrities that supported the event were Jacques, Jim Jones, Lil Mama, Mack Wilds, Fred Da Godson, Graph, Dj Clue, and more. The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets have also supported the event every year and provided gears for the kids in the youth games.
This year’s Ballin 4 Peace event will include Hargrave’s H2O basketball team will be playing against J. High All-stars for the 7TH grade Youth game. Also special youth performances from different singing groups, a marching band, and a dance crew called Stack Crew and Stack Bundle’s step team from Far Rockaway. Hargrave is working on getting artists such as Pressure, Fred Da Godson, Ron Browz and many other celebrities mentioned that supported last year. The event will also include music, food, raffles, and basketball shoot outs with people from the audience.
“Everyone looks forward to this event,” Hargrave said. “People really enjoy this day, where they can come out and not think of the many senseless acts of violence that’s going on and just come out and have a good time.”
Hargrave plans to expand Ballin 4 Peace and take it on the road going to different states. He’s currently working on branching out first to Atlanta and L.A. and maybe even going overseas with it.
Although the Queens native still plays basketball from time to time, he’s now in the Department of Education, his first year working as a Gym teacher at Springfield Gardens’ Preparatory Academy for Writers. He’s training to become a full time Gym teacher for middle school and in the meantime teaches Advisory classes to the middle school and high school.
Hargrave has more community events coming this summer including his Bowling event at Bowlmor lanes at the end of June and a flag football back to school drive in August. The money being raised for the Ballin 4 Peace event will go towards a free 2-week sports summer camp for kids where they’ll have food and drinks for free at Roy Wilkins or Brookville Park. They’ll have soccer and basketball lessons and many more.
Tickets for the Ballin 4 Peace event in Corona, New York on May 13 is currently available at Ballin4Peace.EventBrite.com. Hargrave is also accepting donations for his upcoming projects on the website.Tweet