Monday, February 6, 2017
Milwaukee Public Schools, along with partners including the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, Milwaukee Bucks and Running Rebels, and City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention will announce the launch of a Midnight Basketball League on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 4 p.m. at Bradley Technology and Trade High School —700 S. 4th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204.
The Midnight Basketball League is part of the new MPS C.A.R.E.S. (Community and Recreation Engaging Students) initiative, which was announced in October, 2016. Young men 17 to 25 years old who live in Milwaukee and are not students may participate in the 10-week league.
Milwaukee Public Schools will host three 10-week Midnight Leagues at Bradley Tech. The first league will start March 1, 2017; each league will serve 80 to 100 young men.
MPS has worked with partners in planning the league as a way to engage and support young men and connect them to community resources in Milwaukee.
“This is about more than just basketball,” said Darienne Driver, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. “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 is working with Running Rebels to bring community-based organizations and resources to participants during the league so young men can access a variety of programs including employment services, driver’s license recovery, child support services and other options.
In addition to resources, the league also supports positive police and community relations. The Milwaukee Police Department will provide mentoring opportunities for young men during the leagues.
The Milwaukee Bucks have played an integral role in the formation of the Midnight Basketball League and will continue to lend support as the league tips off in the coming weeks. Bucks forward John Henson will be on hand at Tuesday’s announcement to speak with MPS students and Midnight League supporters about the importance of working hand-in-hand with local police and other organizations to build stronger, safer communities.
“I am honored to be part of this important initiative,” Henson said. “Creating meaningful improvement in the relationship between the youth and young adults of Milwaukee and the local police is significant. 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. We are appreciative of the City, MPS and MPD’s strategy to implement a mentoring and life skills components for the participants – making this a win/win for all involved.”
Added Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey: "Long before I was elected Alderman for the 7th district, and in my role as Milwaukee County Supervisor, I challenged the community and its leaders to find a way to bring Midnight Basketball back to Milwaukee. To say this is an awesome day - bringing City, MPS, the Bucks and most importantly our young men together around the game of basketball for the end game of a better life is so rewarding."
Visit www.mpsmke.com/cares to learn more about the Midnight Basketball League and the MPS C.A.R.E.S. initiative.
About Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball franchise in their 49th season of play in the National Basketball Association, and third under the direction of a new ownership group headed by Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan. The trio purchased the team from Herb Kohl on May 15, 2014, tipping off a new era of Bucks basketball with the promise of building a championship-caliber team on and off the court that will unite the community and play a leading role in revitalizing downtown Milwaukee.
About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district's commitment to improvement continues to show results:
- More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
- The MPS Class of 2016 earned $51+ million in scholarships; and
- MPS is home to eight of the state and nation's top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.
Learn more about MPS by visiting our website. More news is available at mpsmke.com/news
About MPS C.A.R.E.S.
MPS C.A.R.E.S. is a comprehensive community outreach and programming initiative with multiple components aimed at improving community conditions for Milwaukee’s children and young adults. This collaborative initiative is purposed to meet Milwaukee’s emerging community needs.
The MPS C.A.R.E.S. components will: 1) provide youth with positive activities within safe environments during evenings and weekends, 2) provide opportunities for residents and youth to express their needs and inform district decisions, and 3) mobilize MPS employees to serve the community through volunteerism and through a stronger presence at community events. For more information about MPS C.A.R.E.S. visit www.mpsmke.com/cares.