Basketball tournament held against gun violence

Posted: Updated:
MOUNT VERNON -

Eight basketball teams from across the state gathered in Mount Vernon Saturday to stand up against gun violence.

A basketball tournament was held as part of statewide program called SNUG, which is the word ‘guns’ spelled backwards, and aims to cure the public health issue of gun violence, according to the group’s leaders.

One team playing in the tournament tells News 12 their players are playing in memory of Shamoya Mckenzie. The 13-year-old was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Mount Vernon last year while leaving basketball practice.

Organizers say tragedies like that are the reason SNUG has been working in Mount Vernon for the past three years.          

According to the organization, there were seven shootings and two murders in their target area of south Mount Vernon by June in 2016. This year there have been only four shootings, with none turning deadly.

SNUG is working to teach the community to mediate situations and not pick up a gun.

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