Teens from around Boston teamed up on the basketball court Saturday for the annual Unity Weekend at the Ansin Youth Center in Charlestown.

Now in its 17th year, Unity Weekend brings together teens from all around Boston for two days of playing basketball and making new friends. On Friday, the teens attended a Celtics game together. Saturday was when they took the court themselves, wearing new sneakers that were donated.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans spoke to the group on Saturday. He said he was a former Boys and Girls Club member when he was growing up in South Boston and knows firsthand how important the clubs are.

"We always hear the bad stories, this is what it’s all about. Bringing kids together across the city and making Boston the place it is," said Evans.

Teens who attended Unity Weekend were also happy to talk about being Boys and Girls Club members.

"The club has taught me life lessons," said Hayden Groh. "They help me with my studies and I usually come over to the gym when I have the chance and I like to exercise and play with my friends."

Unity Weekend, which is co-sponsored by 7News, also raises money to support YouthConnect, a Boys and Girls Club program that helps at-risk youth. To date, Unity Weekend has raised more than $1 million for YouthConnect.

(Copyright (c) 2016 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox