Magazine article Variety

Play Ball

Magazine article Variety

Play Ball

Article excerpt

Rapper's charity provides kids in Queens with 'full summer-camp experience' By Andrew Barker

LL COOL J GREW UP in the northeast of Queens, and remembers what it was like when school was out and there was nothing much for a kid to do in an inner-city neighborhood full of pavements, street corners and concrete. His personal charity, Jump & Ball, looks to create an alternative.

Now in its 12th year, Jump & Ball hosts a multi-week series of events every August, working with local government to bring a youth basketball tournament, a swimming pool, dance contests, DJs, ice cream and bounce houses free to the community.

"This is an area where, in the summertime when kids are out of school, basically you just stand on the corner," LL remembers. "And no one does that because they like to stand on the corner. It's just there's nowhere to go. It's not like a kid gets up in the morning and says, 'You know what I'll do today? I'll go and stand on the corner breathing in carbon monoxide all day,' you know what I'm saying? …

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