NEW ORLEANS — Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the completion of NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball Season Thirteen. NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball provides safe recreational opportunities in crime hot spots for young men through mentorship, support and basketball. Since its inaugural season in 2012, Midnight Basketball has reached more than 8,450 participants and 3,580 spectators.
“I am proud of the overall progress that we have made with Midnight Basketball to create opportunities for young people in our city,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Season thirteen’s success would not have been possible without the commitment of our strong community partners and sponsors Domino's Pizza, the New Orleans Pelican, Metro PCS and Play NOLA. Congratulations to this season’s winners, Team X.”
There were a total of 390 players who participated this season, with an average of 56 players a week. Additionally, there were 156 spectators throughout the 8-week season. The winning team won the most 5-on-5 NCAA-type tournaments and received a $1,000 grand prize.
As part of the experience, various community service providers offered mentoring and opportunities for participants to learn about and register for skills training. Service providers included Youth Empowerment Project, Limitless Vistas, Park Place Premiere Barber School, STRIVE New Orleans, Operation Spark, CeaseFire New Orleans, Healthy Start New Orleans and Fatherhood.
The season featured various guest speakers including Holy Anointed House of Prayer Pastor Lionel Roberts, STRIVE New Orleans Senior Core Trainer Patrick Young, Darryl Watson II with the Department of Operations at Joseph Bartholomew Golf Course, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Manager Larry Barabino, Owner of Skip’s Lawn Care Service Rusty Skipper, Owner of Print 101 Myles Cooper and Fatherhood Coordinator Robert Burnside.
The St. Bernard Recreation Center (1500 Lafreniere St.) hosted Season 13. This season’s sponsors were the New Orleans Pelicans, RPM Pizza, and MetroPCS. PlayNOLA has also been a strong partner in the success of Midnight Basketball.
Local role model and radio personality DJ Wild Wayne also played an essential role by lending his media presence every week to share the benefits of participating in Midnight Basketball with his listeners.
NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball is a part of Mayor Landrieu’s comprehensive strategy to reduce murders in New Orleans. Midnight Basketball aims to reach young men who are most likely at risk for being victims of or contributors to violent crime in the City.
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About NOLA FOR LIFE
Launched in May 2012, NOLA FOR LIFE is New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's comprehensive strategy to tackle the city's historically high murder rate. Recognizing that law enforcement alone cannot solve the murder problem, NOLA FOR LIFE takes a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem and implements initiatives in five main categories: Stop the Shooting, Invest in Prevention, Promote Jobs and Opportunity, Strengthen the NOPD and Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods. In the four years since NOLA FOR LIFE launched, there have been 86 fewer murders and an 18% lower murder rate than in the four years prior to NOLA FOR LIFE. In 2011, 55 percent of New Orleans murders were gang or group related, while that number has been cut in half today. For more information, visit www.nolaforlife.org and tune in to NOLA FOR LIFE original programming 24/7 on Cox Cable Channel 99.
In June 2016, the City of New Orleans released the NOLA FOR LIFE 2016 Four-Year Progress Report, which details why certain initiatives were selected, who they are reaching and the results they have produced. Click here to view the Progress Report.