UNCW to Host the Police Athletic League’s Crosstown Championship on March 5

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Police Athletic League’s (PAL) Crosstown Championship returns to Trask Coliseum on March 5. The Community and Brigade Boys & Girls Clubs all-star teams will face off at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The league’s championship game is sponsored by the Wilmington Police Department, the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences (SHAHS) and UNCW Athletics.

The Wilmington Police Department’s PAL program promotes gang resistance and awareness through competitive basketball. Officers serve as coaches and are assisted by volunteers from the community, including SHAHS students, faculty and staff.  The goal of the program is to create positive relationships between police officers and the youth.

The partnership with Wilmington Police helps the university address public health needs that exist in the community, said Chris Lantz, SHAHS director.

“It provides us with a great opportunity for members of the institution and members of the community to work collaboratively to directly benefit our vulnerable and underserved populations,” he said.

As part of the UNCW College of Health and Human Services, SHAHS is dedicated to helping individuals, families and communities live healthier, more prosperous and more productive lives.

“We are providing these children a vision of alternative choices that they may not be aware of,” Lantz said. “It is my hope we are giving them an opportunity to make wise decisions that will impact their lives for many years to come.”

With the university’s strong commitment to community engagement, a number of areas on campus are involved in the Crosstown Championship, including: the Office of the Chancellor, Division of Student Affairs, Office of Community Partnerships and the Office of University Relations, Lantz said. This is the second year UNCW has hosted the championship game. 

“Not only are we addressing a public health need, we are bringing the UNCW community closer together,” he said.

Officer Deborah Wolfson, PAL coordinator, said the youth involved in the championship game are excited about playing at Trask.

"The support from the community for the Crosstown Championship game is huge,” she said.  “We have people stepping in, asking how they can help, from all over the community.  UNCW's support in the championship game has been phenomenal and all of the help from the UNCW faculty, staff and students is greatly appreciated.”