Can Noah's Arc save streets of Chicago?

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Can Noah's Arc save streets of Chicago?
Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) stands over a hurt Taj Gibson during the second half of Game 5 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Chicago. The Wizards won 75-69. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, left, and Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat, right, from Poland, battle for control of the ball during the second half of Game 4 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Washington, Sunday, April 27, 2014. The Wizards defeated the Bulls 98-89. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) shoots during the first half of Game 4 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards in Washington, Sunday, April 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah after he was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, April 21, 2014, in Lincolnshire, Ill. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah exhales during the closing second of the overtime period of Game 2 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Chicago. The Wizards won 101-99. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah after being awarded the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, Monday, April 21, 2014, in Lincolnshire, Ill. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, center, after being awarded the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, Monday, April 21, 2014, in Lincolnshire, Ill. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) drives against Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Friday, April 11, 2014. The Bulls won 106-98. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah, right, and Charlotte Bobcats' Bismack Biyombo, left, battle for a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The Bobcats won 91-86 in overtime. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah answers questions from the media after being awarded the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award, Monday, April 21, 2014, in Lincolnshire, Ill. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah sits on the bench during a time out of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Chicago, Friday, April 4, 2014. The Bulls won 102-90. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah walks towards the bench during the closing minutes of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers Friday, March 28, 2014, in Chicago. The Trail Blazers won 91-74. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) celebrates the Bulls' expanding lead on the Indiana Pacers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 24, 2014, in Chicago. The Bulls won 89-77. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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By GLENN MINNIS
XN Sports

Ever wonder why Joakim Noah always seems to highlight most everyone's list of their favorite NBA stars?

Trust and believe, it goes far beyond him just being the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and his status as one of the league's toughest-minded and most unrelenting competitors.

The essence of just who Joakim Noah is was on full display on Friday as the All-Star center tirelessly worked a Major Adams Community Center room of teens and adolescents. He preached about a gun and gang violence culture so wildly out-of-control it has all but brought his beloved Chicago hometown whimpering to its knees.

"It's very important that we understand that this is not just a problem that's going on on the South Side, the violence is not a problem that's going on on the West Side," Noah said of his motivation for launching his "Stand Up Chicago" campaign. "This is a Chicago problem."

As part of his hopefully life-saving agenda, Noah also enlisted the aid of teammate and Chi-Town native son Derrick Rose, who appears on a 60-second PSA released in conjunction with the initiative.

Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah Launches New Anti-Violence Initiative

"I stand for my city," boldly proclaims Rose, who is joined in the PSA by rap star and fellow Chicago native Common. Later Noah and his mom, Cecilia Rodhe, released a statement through his Noah's Arc Foundation that implored all Chicagoans "take a stand against violence and become ambassadors for peace and positivity."

Over just the first seven months of this year, at least 207 homicides have been committed in Chicago, including a recent treacherous July 4 weekend where the L.A. Times reports at least 16 were killed and 82 injured over a period of just three-and-half days. In the face of such insufferable tragedy, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has added seven more ATF agents to its former roster of 45 in hopes of somehow of corralling all the madness.

Joakim Noah is convinced there's still far more that needs to be done.

"As somebody who plays for the Bulls, I feel like I'm somebody who represents the city, and I think that helping our youth is important," he said. "The summer months bring a lot of violence, and we felt it was urgent to get a public service announcement out now in order to bring some home, change and support to the community."

In time, Noah plans to host tournaments for grade schoolers and 18-21-year-olds on the same United Center courts he and Rose now regularly star on. But the scope of this movement is so much more than just hoops.

"We have to find a way together, whether you're rich, poor, black, white, whatever you are, to come together and solve this together," said Noah, adding that his foundation will promote many of the arts as a means of offering youths activities that could keep them off the streets and thus provoke positive community upliftment. "To me personally, this is just as important as winning a championship."

There may be bigger NBA stars than Joakim Noah, but how many can you argue really resonate as greater human beings?

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