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Gary warms up to new midnight basketball league

Updated: April 18, 2013 7:13AM



GARY — Whether the Chief of the Gary Police Department has game has not quite been decided yet.

Before Friday night, when he and the city’s men of law enforcement had their benefit basketball game against the Gary Fire department, Wade Ingram mentioned that his basketball prowess would be displayed at the Gary Genesis Convention Center game to promote the upcoming Gary midnight basketball league.

Those talents will have to be showcased at a later date.

“I’ve got game and I should have put it to use tonight,” Ingram said.

“I wanted other guys to play and have fun and I didn’t want to hog up the time.”

His buddies could have used him.

The fire department was — pardon the pun ­— en fuego in the second half in their 49-41 win. But for Ingram, the real winners were the ones who benefited from Friday night’s game which raised funds for the midnight league.

“I think this had a positive effect on the city and it was a nice family outing,” Ingram said. “I think we had a very good outcome.”

Friday night’s basketball game was highlighted by several Gary officials speaking to the crowd before the game, including Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson — who showed that she knows her way around a basketball floor after getting it done during the Harlem Globetrotters’ visit earlier this year — and the Gary Splash basketball team taking part on one of the undercard matchups.

All of which, Ingram hopes, will lead to a successful midnight basketball league which the police chief said was a success during his time working across the state line before coming to Gary.

“My goals for the midnight league is an anti-violence initiative,” said Ingram, who worked for the Chicago police in the 1990s. “When I saw all the shootings and homicides we had in 2012, I decided to do something about that.”

Ingram says the league reduced crime, and it also improved the police’s relationship with the community.

“I would like to reach the guys between 18 and 25,” Ingram said.

Ingram says the games will run from 7 p.m. until midnight on Thursday nights and will be played at Roosevelt High School.

“And already shootings in Gary have gone down from last year since word got out about this,” Ingram said.

For more information on the league, contact the Gary Police Department.



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