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Prodigal Sonz

Youth ages 12 – 25
Prodigal Sonz

*There is no cost for eligible youth to be a part of Prodigal Sonz* 

*Commitment and a desire for a positive lifestyle are required*

The Prodigal Sonz is a basketball team that brings together at-risk youth and their mentors. Our team engages in 24 games annually across the province of Ontario. The primary goal of the Prodigal Sonz program is to provide a constructive outlet for at-risk youth, channelling their energy into positive team sports.

The goals of this program include:

• Creating a disciplined, active lifestyle.

• Learning to cooperate within a team environment.

• Inspiring youth to escape or avoid destructive behaviour.

The team practices twice per week and engages in a competitive game once per month with various High School and Rep teams. All the practices and games lead up to the annual Liberty and Justice Unity Basketball Event, which takes place in June. In this event, the Hamilton Police Services Team plays a friendly and competitive game with the Prodigal Sonz, symbolizing unity.


Prodigal Sonz
Basketball Events & Summer League 2023

Watch this year's FULL Unity game!


2024 - 18th Annual Liberty & Justice Unity Basketball

On June 8th, 2024, Liberty For Youth hosted our 18th Annual Liberty & Justice Unity Basketball game, between Liberty For Youth’s Prodigal Sonz (a team of at-risk/post-incarcerated youth and their mentors) and the Hamilton Police All-Stars basketball team, led by Staff Sergeant David McKenzie.  Our annual ‘2024 Steel City Cop Award’ was presented to Constable Osayi Iginuan. 

Prodigal Sonz Alumni, and now Special Constable with the Hamilton Police Service Rudy Sanchez, met with Prodigal Sonz participant, Trandon, at half court for the presentation of the ‘Unity Ball’, which symbolizes the reconciliation between a youth in conflict with the law and the Hamilton Police Services.  

“I first got involved with Liberty For Youth (LFY) when I was 13 years old.  During that time a family member was in jail, and I felt anger towards the police, as I was young and didn’t fully understand the situation. I received mentorship and played basketball with Liberty For Youth and over time I started seeing the police differently.  LFY connected me with Constable Rod Allison, who took me for dinner and discussed career options within the law enforcement field.  I eventually applied to the Police Foundations program and was hired as a Special Constable this year.  I have the honour of being the first basketball player to play for The Prodigal Sonz and now for The Hamilton Police team.”  

Rudy Sanchez | LFY Alumni Member & Special Constable 

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This year, Prodigal Sonz team member, Karl received the ‘Sergeant Barry Mungar – Bursary Award’ in honour of Sergeant Mungar’s commitment to assisting youth in overcoming obstacles to strive for excellence in athletics & community.  We were also joined by Old Republic Canada’s CEO, Jason Smith, who presented a $15,000 matching grant cheque to Liberty For Youth’s Prodigal Sonz program, marking $95,000 given to date.    

“Old Republic Canada is proud to partner with Liberty For Youth. We believe the investments we have made in the lives of youth over the last 7 years through Liberty For Youth is an eternal investment in the future of our youth and our local community.” 

Jason Smith | CPA, CA, President | Chief Executive Officer, Old Republic Canada 

Many community members came out to watch the Hamilton Police All-Star Basketball Team & the Prodigal Sonz battle it out for the 2024 Championship!  In the end, the Prodigal Sonz Team took home the victory with a final score of 68 to 47.  

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17th Annual Unity Basketball Event - 2023

In June 2023, we hosted our 17th Annual Liberty & Justice Unity Basketball Game. Our annual ‘2023 Steel City Cop Award’ was presented to Constable Domenic DiCienzo.

“At the age of 15, I got involved in crime. I thought the only thing that I was promised in this life was poverty. I ended up getting shot and that was my wake-up call. I took my probation seriously and was encouraged to attend Liberty For Youth programming. Today, I have in my hand the Liberty and Justice Unity Basketball that represents peace and liberty between police and youth. In the past, I would run from the police, but today we’re going to run together in a friendly basketball game,” said AJ.


The Prodigal Sonz’ 17th season concluded with a spectacular celebration! Each youth was honoured with a trophy that perfectly matched their individuality. From ‘Spark Plug' to ‘The Protector' and ‘Commander in Chief,' our Program Facilitator Zachary ensured every player felt recognized.

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Our Youth Feedback

“The new court addition has been great, because we now have multiple courts to train at year-round.”

“Basketball camps give us a unique experience to be trained by different athletes and learn different skills.” 

“Basketball tournaments allow us to have fun and play more basketball games.”

“Basketball games allow us to use what we’ve learned in practice and translate it into gameplay.”

“Basketball practice helps us learn and improve our basketball games.”


Program Hours

Tuesdays: 5 - 10 PM

Wednesdays: 6 - 9 PM

Saturdays: 5 - 10 PM


Funding for this project is provided by: