IN THE WAKE of four incidents of gun violence that touched their New York City--based youth basketball program in the past year—including one that left a teammate with a bullet lodged in his back—members of the New Renaissance Basketball Association (RENS) are taking a stand. The program's 200 players, ranging from third to 11th grade, are wearing orange patches inspired by a movement meant to draw awareness to the epidemic of gun violence. They debuted their new look at a tournament in Queens last month with the help of former RENS player Mustapha Heron, a small forward at Sacred Heart High in Waterbury, Conn., who's headed to Auburn next year. Shootings have become so commonplace, they no longer raise eyebrows, he says. "You don't have to resort to gun violence to solve every problem you have."
COURTESY OF RENS BASKETBALL (RENS)