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Hoops with Heroes set for Thursday
William James Middle School students have the chance to play basketball with local law enforcement
Hoops with Heroes
Teammates, including Deputy James Bubba Revell, right, cheer and help guide Jamarrius Huff, 14, as he dribbles a basketball around obstacles while blindfolded during last year's "Hoops with Heroes" event at William James Middle School. The second annual event is set for Thursday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

What: Hoops With Heroes
When: Thursday, from 3:45–6:45 p.m
Where: William James Middle School

Today after school, William James Middle School students will have the chance to play basketball with local law enforcement as the second annual "Hoops with Heroes" takes place.

From 3:45–6:45 p.m., about 72 girls and boys will enjoy basketball and fellowship with law enforcement officers from several local agencies, said Dr. Hal Wilson, Ph.D., assistant professor of coaching education at Georgia Southern University.

The event, organized by Ph.D. candidate Anne Odusanya under Wilson's direction, "builds positive relationships between youth and local law enforcement by playing basketball and participating in other relationship building activities," Wilson said.

This is a great way to create positive interaction between our youth and our law enforcement community, and also reinforce important life skills through sports.
Dr. Hal Wilson, Ph.D., assistant professor of coaching education at Georgia Southern University.

It also provides children with the chance to learn about being a HERO, which stands for honest, enthusiastic, responsible and optimistic, he said.

Organizers hope the event will expand to other schools in the future, he said.

 "This is a great way to create positive interaction between our youth and our law enforcement community, and also reinforce important life skills through sports," Wilson said. "It breaks down barriers and allows kids to see the officers as real people and for the officers to reinforce that these kids can be heroes, too."

Statesboro's 40 East Grill will provide a meal for students, officers and GSU volunteers. Participants will include officers, deputies and troopers from the following: the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office, Georgia Southern University Public Safety, Georgia State Patrol Post 45 and the Statesboro Police Department.

Other volunteers will be from Georgia Southern Athletics, Georgia Southern Coaching Education, the Georgia Southern Minority Advisement Program,  Georgia Southern Pubic Health and WJMS boys basketball coach Brian Hall.

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