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Blue Demons Liven Up Open Streets Festival
Donnavan Kirk lines up an attempt at the Pop-A-Shot exhibit during last Saturday's Open Streets festival.

Donnavan Kirk lines up an attempt at the Pop-A-Shot exhibit during last Saturday's Open Streets festival.

Sept. 12, 2012

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CHICAGO - Whether it was playing Pop-A-Shot with young and old or dancing in the street, the DePaul men's and women basketball players added to the festive atmosphere of last Saturday's Open Streets celebration in the Loop.

"There were hundreds of people who interacted with our players, dance team, Dibs the mascot and the pep band," said DePaul's administrator for community outreach Dave Corzine. "Our players were shooting baskets with the kids, talking with the fans and taking pictures with them.

"The women's team danced with the DePaul dance team and took part in the Zumba dance demonstration down the street. It was well organized and Fran Casey (DePaul Director of Community Affairs) did a nice job.

"You could tell our players had a great time, and it was a terrific way to promote Blue Demon basketball in the heart of the city."

The student-athletes, dance team, pep band and Dibs mixed right in with the Open Streets event in which 13 blocks of the Loop were transformed into the ultimate urban playground.

The men's basketball players were featured at the Pop-A-Shot game located at State & Jackson on DePaul's Loop campus from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the women's players from 12:30-3 p.m.

Car traffic was blocked off on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street and on Monroe Street from State to Lake Shore Drive.

Open Streets featured recreational activities such as biking, running, yoga classes, a skateboard park, a 500 square foot interactive playground, a 500-gallon dunking booth and wall climbing. Children also participated in the popular four-square game, relay races and human tic-tac-toe.

The Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) in partnership with Active Transportation Alliance organized Open Streets whose initiative is to create a safe and fun environment in a car-free setting where communities can connect, families and friends can exercise and play and businesses can engage the public.