BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As the weather heats up, Jefferson County leaders are hoping for a safer summer.  

Sheriff Mark Pettway is using basketball to prevent gun violence in Jefferson County. He says the Hoop Fest Three on Three Community Tour will provide young people to engage in conflict resolution instead of resorting to violence.

The basketball tournament is designed for 18 to 30 who will compete in three-on-three games at six locations across Jefferson County from June to July.

Peyton Wiggins is one of the tournament participants and he hopes the tournament will provide a positive atmosphere for people to come together this summer while staying away from crime. 

“It’s important for me because it will give you an opportunity to do something else instead of sitting at home, you can come outside and play with your friends, bring everybody and watch you play basketball,” Wiggins said.

Sheriff Pettway says this tournament is a way to bring everyone to the table.

“This is a way to invite those who are committing violent crimes to the table to talk to them, to hear from them and for them to hear from us,” Pettway said.  “This is a good tool to use because I know they play sports I see them out there playing and this is a way to invite them to the table to be able to have a discussion about how we can lower the violence in the community.”

For more information about Hoop Fest Three on Three, click here.