Founder of Bronx Athletic League Looking to Take Program Citywide

By Eddie Small on May 19, 2014 5:11pm 

 C-Ball founder Abdul "Sleep" Johnson with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
C-Ball founder Abdul "Sleep" Johnson with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
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Ivelisse Arroyo

BRONX — The founder of a Bronx youth athletic league is trying to take his program citywide.

Abdul "Sleep" Johnson, who founded the Community Board Athletic Leadership League (C-Ball) in October 2005, has been working to bring his program to the rest of the city — and has already made inroads with officials in Brooklyn and Queens, he said.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told DNAinfo in an email that he supports C-Ball "because it coordinates the community board, the first line of government, with athletics that teaches young people life skills. We look forward to bringing it to Brooklyn."

C-Ball offers basketball youth clinics to help kids between 7- and 18-years-old perfect their game. So far, the teams don't compete with each other, but that's something Johnson hopes to begin soon. He also hopes to add other sports as well.

"When we launch the league in either 2015 or 2016, they will play against each other," Johnson said in an email. "Community Boards vs. Community Boards."

C-Ball is designed to help engage kids at an early age to get them involved with their local community boards and comfortable with future participation in NYC government. Johnson came up with the idea when he was the youth chair for Community Board 3 in the Bronx.

"I figured, how can I get kids to participate, to be a part of the meeting?" he said. "There was lots of good stuff being talked about that was within their community."

Johnson went out and interviewed kids in the neighborhood and developed the concept for C-Ball after realizing how much they all cared about sports. The idea was approved by Bronx Community Board 3 in February 2006 and by the Bronx Borough Board in October 2010, making it a borough-wide initiative.

Johnson would like C-Ball to develop a very broad appeal for young New York City residents.

"Whatever youth are interested in and want to do, we want to cover that," he said.

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