LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Since mid-July, on Thursdays and Fridays starting at 8 p.m., shots were put up at 3 separate community centers in Little Rock for Midnight Basketball.
Midnight Basketball is an event put on by the City of Little Rock to give kids something fun and safe to do.
It’s for young adults age 16 and up and it’s free.
Michael Sanders with the City of Little Rock uses the common statement, that it takes a village to raise a child.
The program is designed for young people, but he encourages elders to come and leave an impact.
Little Rock Police provide security at the events and Sanders says one night an officer participated in a basketball game.
The 3 locations for Midnight Basketball are West Central Community Center, Southwest Community Center and the Jim Daily Fitness and Aquatic Center.
Sanders says each week, an average of 40-50 people come out.
Ezell Baker came out to West Central to play ball and says “most people, all they want to do is fight…but when you come out here, it takes your mind off all of that”
Basketball and all sports are competitive, which leads to disagreements within games. These disagreements are settled within the line of the courts. This is a life lesson that Sanders prays lives with those who come out to play.
“I’m hoping that will translate to the streets.” “We don’t have to end every dispute with violence. We can talk it out and move on.”
The last week for Midnight Basketball is August 18t and 19.