NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The high school boys’ basketball teams from Wilbur Cross of New Haven and Bassick of Bridgeport were back in New Haven on Friday. They were not playing a game, they were there to mend fences.
A bad fight at the end of their game last month led to some life lessons on and off the court.
The scoreboard was off at the Floyd Little Athletic Center and the basketball court was closed. The teams were there to make amends.
“We’re here to make our school look better, our cities look better, so we’re all brotherhood at the end of the day, so we want to put that in the past,” said Quadir Gathers, a Bassick senior. “It was a mistake and we’re ready to move on.”
Players, coaches, and administrators from both schools got together and just talked. They sat in a circle just off the court to learn more about each other and ways to avoid conflict going forward.
“These guys are just like us. They came from the same type of stuff that we come from and the same problems we have, same issues and stuff,” said Shaquan Raghubir, Wilbur Cross senior. “So, we just came together as a community to show everybody that it’s bigger than basketball.”
After the group discussion, players from both teams hit the court, made some baskets, shared some jokes, smiles, and ate some pizza.
William Outlaw of the Connecticut Violence Intervention League says the event was a good start.
“I think it went excellent,” Outlaw said. “A lot of good questions, a lot of ownership of what they did. I think they really understand the impact on not just their schools and everything, but also the community.”