On Tuesday, city officials in Milwaukee announced plans for a Midnight Basketball League — a program designed for young men ages 17-25, with the hope of reducing violence among the age group, which has already resulted in three deaths this year.
School board president Mark Sain said in a news conference Tuesday, “I want everyone to know that MPS is well-positioned to work together with others to do our part to ensure that Milwaukee is a safe place to live, work and play.”
The Midnight Basketball League is part of the Milwaukee Public School District’s MPS CARES (Community and Recreation Engaging Students) initiative, and is a collaborative effort between the city, MPS, Milwaukee PD, the Fire and Police Commission, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Running Rebels Community Organization.
Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson told reporters, “It is our hope that the city's Midnight Basketball League will be an avenue for all of us to learn from each other, gain insight from different perspectives, and help build a level of trust and respect.”
The Running Rebels Community Organization has joined the initiative with the goal of providing participants with access to resources such as employment services, drivers’ license recovery and child support services. Milwaukee PD will help arrange mentoring opportunities.
“This is about more than just basketball,” superintendent Darienne Driver told the Journal Sentinel. “We want our community and young people to know that we have our doors open for them and that we are here to help support them.”
MPS will debut the 10-week league at Bradley Tech High School on March 1.