SCMCO Organizes “Joint Masjid Basketball Tournament”

340 players representing 19 mosques from all over Southern California gathered in Yorba Linda on December 16th to participate in the “Joint Masjid Basketball Tournament” organized by the Southern California Muslim Community Organization (SCMCO). The tournament was the fourth mega event organized by SCMCO, which is an umbrella organization of mosques in SoCal and aims to bring the Muslim community closer together through social activities.

SCMCO’s mission is to organize activities and mobilize the community in a manner that forges unity in the community, stated the event’s core executive organizers Ayaz Kaleemullah and Samina Haq.

SCMCO Chairperson Dawar Naqvi extended a heartfelt welcome to the players and the audience. “This is not only about basketball or entertainment, this is about coming together,” stated the event’s organizers, Javad Arain from Islamic Society of Orange County and Amaar Ashraf from Islamic Center of Yorba Linda. During the intervals one of the coaches, Alam Akhtar, explained the rules and format of the tournament to the players.

It was a rare delight to see over 400 players and spectators performing salah together. Imam/Religious Director Shaykh Faqih and Education & Outreach Director Shaykh Mustafa Umar of Islamic Institute of Orange County, Imam of Islamic Society of Corona and Norco Osman Umarji and Imam of Islamic Center of Yorba Linda Hafiz Aslam Patel led different prayers and gave wonderful speeches throughout the event. It was nice to see many Imams, such as Imam of Darul Falah Furhan Zubairi, Usman Umarji, and others, on the court as well.

Alhumdullilah, we were able to achieve our goal for organizing the basketball tournament, said event volunteers Sameer and Ruquayyah Jackson.

The tournament was held at the American Sports Center, a state-of-the art facility. The competition began at 8:15 AM and ended at 7:00 PM with a great display of team spirit and competition in the air.

Professional referees performed their duties. The tournament was divided into three categories - Adult, Under 16 and Under 13. Signs displayed in the gym ‘Shoot hoops for Choc’ encouraged the talented players to play for charity with a total of $500 raised for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

The Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council, Shakeel Syed, who attended the event as a special guest awarded prizes to different individuals and teams. The prizes were also presented by SCMCO Organization Committee members Ayaz Kaleemullah, Alam Akhtar and Dawar Naqvi.

At the end, SCMCO Chairperson Dawar Naqvi thanked everyone for their contribution. He thanked ALLAH for making this program successful. He admired the hard work of his teammates. He said without their efforts the event could not have been possible. His team comprised of Ayazkaleemullah, Samina Haq, Javad Arain, Amjad Naqvi, Alam Akthar, Amaar Ashraf, Sameer Sheikh, Ruquayyah Jackson and Firoze Mustafa.

The evening concluded with the address of Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council, Shakeel Syed: “I have no words to describe my feelings. May Allah always gather us all for the benefit of this Ummah.” He applauded the efforts of the Organizing Committee for organizing the event. SCMCO congratulates the Basketball Champions:

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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