Hampden DA’s basketball tournament and job fair draws hundreds to AIC

on April 17, 2017 at 1:33 PM

SPRINGFIELD — Hundreds of young people chose to spend their Patriots’ Day holiday Monday at the second annual Hoop Up Springfield at American International College’s Butova Gymnasium.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni sponsored the event, which included a basketball tournament, an AIC college tour, a job fair with a room full of prospective employers, a cheerleading clinic and a “skills and drills” basketball clinic.

Sarah Williams, of Springfield Youth Cheerleading, and cheerleaders from Central High School taught cheerleading moves to a group of girls in one area, and AIC basketball players worked with girls and boys in the skills and drills area.

Julie Hadley, district human resources administrator for Stop & Shop, was working a table at the job fair. She said she was looking for employees who will be dependable, reliable and maybe want to grow their career with Stop & Shop.

Tony Simmons, director of the DA’s Community Safety and Outreach Unit, said the skills and drills basketball clinic keeps the younger children who aren’t ready for the basketball tournament involved.

“Kids love to play basketball,” Simmons said. But the day is also meant for youth who are looking for employment, he said.

Dejay Carpenter, a 17-year-old Commerce High School senior, is mapping out his next move. Carpenter wants to pursue business. He said hearing about people who succeed despite adversity helps him keep on track to do well.

“At this point I’m kind of undecided but if it comes down to the point I think I might go to Westfield State University,” he said.

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