JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The goal of the Gainesville-based Basketball with a Cop foundation is to improve and repair the relationship between law enforcement and the youth in the communities they serve.
The idea is to use basketball to make a Positively Jax connection between officers and the community.
Those involved will tell you that you'd be hard-pressed to find a child who doesn’t enjoy basketball. Add a police officer who can dribble a ball to the equation, and you have the beginning of a relationship.
Beyond supplying sports equipment, the foundation also hosts community events, sports tournaments and funds the renovation and rebuilding of basketball courts in apartment complexes, parks and churches.
In Jacksonville, the Basketball Cop Foundation and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office formed a community partnership with Duval Asphalt and renovated the court at the Celebration Church Dream Center at Cleveland Arms.
What started with a modestly budgeted renovation turned into something more.
"Watever it takes for the community (to get a) full-blown, NBA-regulation court replacement,” Jennifer Garrett of Duval Asphalt said. “Hands down the most gratifying thing for us was the grand opening and watching the hundreds of kids from the neighborhood get so excited."