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Hoops and Dreams

Patrick Johnson, Hoops & Dream Project founder, and Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield regional resident, pose with the basketball players prior to the start of the bi-annual tournament.


Hoops and Dreams uses basketball to teach life’s lessons to the youth of Utica. The goals of the program include “Raising awareness on how to reduce violence in the City of Utica”.

This program strives to teach youth what happens after your first dream cannot be realized. Many inner city children dream of becoming professional ball players.

While this is a worthwhile goal, few athletes are able to successfully enter professional sports. It is OK to have such lofty goals. Mr. Johnson helps children to understand this reality and nurtures them to set other goals including maximizing their education.

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