Monday, January 9, 2017

The Occupy Kwanzaa Classic [Fellowship/Family/Fun]

The Occupy Kwanzaa Classic was held at Harlem's 
Taino Towers Gymnasium in front of an enthusiastic
audience of holiday revelers, community activist, and 
fans of the game. This annual celebration showcases,
community unity, local performance talent and what else?
An Inter-Generational Hoops Festival where good times
are shared by all.

                    Team Kujichagulia [Self-Determination aka Cross Bronx 
             Express 45 & Over pose for photos after their ten point 
            victory over Team Umoja at the Occupy Kwanzaa Classic.
       Team Umoja-Unity [50 & Over]
We had an opportunity to speak with one of the
organizers of the 2016 Occupy Kwanzaa Classic,
Johnny Pugh, and we asked him a few questions,
"What does basketball have to do with the
celebration of Kwanzaa?"
Johnny Pugh stated, "You must use all seven principals
(of Kwanzaa) to have a successful winning program.
From Umoja (Unity) with the team to Imani which
means Faith.  The Seven Principals of Kwanzaa can
be the integral focus of a winning team or group
concept.  Whether it be basketball, or life.

The Pugh Family holding down the scorer's table.
Where do you see the Occupy Kwanzaa Classic
going in two to three years?
"I can see the Occupy Kwanzaa Classic growing
by leaps and bounds.  Basketball mirrors life in
many ways. Activity with purpose [NIA],  is a
powerful tool for growth on so many different levels."

"How did this years event go and why didn't MC Smitty
[The Hometown Favorite] get more shine on stage?" 

Mr. Pugh takes a moment to reflect and states, "The
Kwanzaa event was successful on a few different levels.
One...The guest were very enthusiastic about the program.
The Story-tellers, Dancers, and musical performers
came on stage after three very good basketball
games with players from age ten to sixty-three. 
The food was awesome and finally the
children had a good time.  DJ Smitty implored our
youth, in a timely rap, to Stay in School!  He had
another great song titled This is Kwanzaa, however
time would not permit him to do it.  Next year more
time for Smitty.  Blessings to the Kwanzaa Family."


Game One was the Age 45 & Over Battle for "Below 
the Rim Supremacy" when Team Kujichagulia 
[Self-Determination] aka The Cross-Bronx Express 
team defeated Team Umoja [Unity] aka as The
Men in Black.

       2016 Occupy Kwanzaa Classic student athletes in the Biddy [12 & Under] and Midget Divisions.

Game Two was the Midget Division game [Age fourteen 
and under] with Team Umoja, of the Bronx team in black,
aka About Time, coached by the legendary Harlem baller
Arnold Warren vs Team Kuumba [Creativity] aka The
Harlem Transformation Project Team in red.

Game Three [Biddy's-age 12 & Under] Showcased Team
Ujamaa [Cooperative Economics] aka Each One Teach
One, Coached by George Ball vs About Time.

This Annual Event was hosted by The African Folk Heritage
Circle, Grassroots Global Alafia, The Harlem Drummers and Steppers,, The National Association of Each One Teach One, Men of Respect Records, About Time Inc
Youth Basketball, The Harlem Transformation Project, The
Amesegenallo Xperience Band, and the Pugh Family.

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