GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thanks to a donation from several states away, Grand Rapids police on Wednesday surprised a neighborhood with a new basketball hoop.
Earlier this month, a Gainesville, Florida, officer came across a Facebook video of some Grand Rapids officers having a footrace with kids. The video, posted by Latoya Frazier, had been viewed more than 820,000 times and shared more than 11,000 times as of Wednesday night.
The Florida officer, Bobby White, had previously been recorded playing basketball with kids and that video also made the rounds on social media. He now runs a nonprofit, the Basketball Cop Foundation, that helps departments around the country connect with young people through sports. That’s how he provided the basketball hoop to the Grand Rapids Police Department.
On Wednesday, the GRPD officers put up the hoop on Prospect Avenue SE north of Burton Street and stuck around for a friendly game with neighborhood kids.
“I think it’s very helpful,” Officer Austin Diekevers said. “As you can see, it brings people together. … It just brings people from all over the neighborhood coming together and hanging out tonight.”
“You don’t really see that many officers coming to spend time with children in the neighborhood often, so I think that’s kind of cool,” neighbor Cameron Cross said.
The officers also challenged the kids to a footrace rematch.