Young athletes hooped for a future

Young athletes hooped for a future
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Many young athletes played a game of hoops in downtown Jonesboro to help out for their future on Saturday.

Jonesboro Parks and Recreation held its first Downtown 3-on-3 Basketball Workforce Tournament Initiative.

Seven teams played to win on the court and learned about the workforce.

"There are some people actually here from Workforce and here with Goodwill," Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Danny Kapales said. "We just want to try to figure out opportunities they might have down the line with jobs and that sort."

Kapales said the event also gave kids, teens, and young adults a chance to interact and learn from others their age.

"We really want to see a great community connection," he said. "We want to get a lot of people that normally don't spend a lot of time together or cross the same paths to cross the same paths and work together and make this a better community."

Working hard on the court, doing something they love will prepare them for a hard work ethic in the long run.

The Arkansas Department of  Workforce Services and many other organizations set up booths to provide information and opportunities for the kids.

"We'd like to have the young adults in their early twenties to have the opportunity to connect with different businesses," Kapales said. "Something we would like to see in the future is to get those businesses to put their own 3-on-3 teams in and then have our young men come in and play. And now, we have them playing on the court together."

Children made up the majority of the crowd, though. Organizers originally planned to have just young adults participate in the tournament to fulfill the initiative. They decided to open the doors for children to have a larger crowd and for them to enjoy the game.

"As we move forward and this being the first year, it's not as big as we would like it to be," Kapales said. "You can tell we have a lot of younger kids here today, so it might not be exactly what we are looking for in the future."

Kapales hopes more young adults and older teens who are looking for a career path to get involved next year.

He said the tournament will become an annual event.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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