“Always First Place” – Streetball 2023 for Children with Disabilities

The opening game of the 2023 Jerusalem Streetball Tournament featuring past NBA players was dedicated to ADI Jerusalem. “Every child can and deserves to be part of society,” said ADI Jerusalem CEO Shlomit Grayevsky.

For the 26th year in a row, the Municipality of Jerusalem is staging a four-day tournament at Safra Square, the main municipal plaza surrounded by City Hall buildings and offices. Over 1,000 basketball players divided into 14 categories will participate in the tournament’s various events, with winners taking home valuable prizes.

The tournament’s opening event held Tuesday, July 4, was dedicated to ADI Jerusalem, highlighting integration and inclusion of children with disabilities and their inherent right to be included in all parts of society. Basketball legend Eddie Johnson, remembered for his 18-year career with the NBA, and Mark West, whose 17-year basketball career included representing the USA in the 1982 World Championship games, were guests of honor, playing alongside ADI residents and students.

Alon Chassid, Municipality of Jerusalem event coordinator, has been affiliated with ADI Jerusalem for close to 18 years as father of ADI Jerusalem resident, Or. “ADI Jerusalem enabled me to continue my life,” says Alon, who also serves as head of the ADI Jerusalem Parents’ Committee. “I visit Or once or twice a week and see the wonderful staff who work restlessly, day and night, for the benefit of the residents, babies, youth and adults who live in the center. We are lucky that Or lives there, and I will do everything I can with all my heart to support ADI Jerusalem.”

ADI Jerusalem CEO Shlomit Grayevsky commented that, “ADI Jerusalem is an integrative community center.  .  . We are proud that above and beyond the excellent professional care we provide, we are an integral part of the community. We are open to everyone at all times, and every family, not only their children, receives ongoing support and guidance. We believe that every child is capable, and each one has the undisputable right to be part of the community and to enjoy the same things enjoyed by their peers.

“The City of Jerusalem is a true partner, sharing our belief in the children and their right to inclusion and support in all areas of life. I am grateful to Mayor Moshe Leon, for his long-standing friendship and support, and to all city employees for the eminence and importance they impart to our center and our children and their families.”

Streetball Jerusalem was the first tournament of its kind in Israel, paving the path for similar events throughout the country. The opening ceremony was dedicated to the memories of Amnon Shank, z”l, legendary founder and director of Jerusalem Streetball over 20 years ago, and Sergeant First Class Ofir Kit, z”l, who fell in the line of duty in Gaza, June 2001.

Picture credits: Arnon Bossani

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