Black Ice Invitational happens this weekend in Detroit

Black Ice Invitational happens this weekend in Detroit

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Hockey players  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Hockey players (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Willie O'Ree was the first hockey player to break the color barrier when he joined Boston in 1958.  If the gang at Sports Dreams have their way that legacy will continue.

The nonprofit organization branches out to provide non-traditional sports for inner city kids, and hockey is in the mix.

The inaugural Black Ice Invitational is being held this weekend with inner city teams from Michigan, Ohio and Washington, D.C. meeting up to honor black pioneers of the game in a two day tournament.  Friday's action is at the Jack Adams Recreation Center and Saturday's is at Clark Park.

"We give them opportunity to learn.  A lot of kids didn't know about the black hockey teams from back in the day in the early 1900s, and when they found out that there was a black team back in the day, they were eager to get on and learn the game themselves," said coach Marcus Norwood.

Boys and girls from four to 19 are participating, and each kid is making a piece of the game their own allowing for another path to sports success instead of limiting city kids to just football and basketball.

"A lot of times kids don't know the opportunities that are out there, and we're just trying to expose them.  It's kind of difficult to get kids involved because they just don't know, but once they know they seem to love it.  They enjoy it," Norwood said.

Will the Black Ice Invitational mean there will be more black faces in the NHL?  That answer is far off, but at least players know that there is a path to follow.

For more on the Black Ice Invitational, visit www.sportsdreams313.org.

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