New York

Van Dyke Houses Uses Basketball to Educate Brooklyn Housing Teens

Van Dyke Houses are now hosting a new program that uses basketball to help Brooklyn housing project teens, as well as to educate them on how to be good citizens.

The Rise Up and Stop the Violence Boys Basketball Tournament’s games take place on Wednesdays, and the kids are allowed to join only after participating in workshops focused on life skills and important education like avoiding and preventing sexually transmitted diseases, as well as community service projects.

President of the Van Dyke Residents Association Lisa Kenner says: “You live here, you want better for the next generation.”

She created the program for 12-16 year-olds in her Brownsville New York City Housing Authority, as well as other NYCHA complexes, explaining that “It’s something to get their minds going, to keep them busy.”

Kenner makes an effort to be stern with teens who hadn’t completed their workshops before the first game. At Wednesday’s game, they were sent to the bench after being told that there are “rules and regulations in life-period.”

Though the framework seems harsh, the teens enjoy the games and competition very much, and are excited to have an opportunity to emulate their favorite athletes like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Adonis Everett, 16, said “Basketball is my favorite sport!”

13-year old scored 23 points for his team during the first game. He excitedly pointed out: “We’re trying to be undefeated!”


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)