The Midnight Basketball Leagues will aim to attract young men ages 17 to 25 to offer them a healthy activity and a safe place to gather. During league sessions, the young men will also be able to connect with community resources such as help with recovering a driver's license or finding employment, and they will be able to interact with police, who will offer mentoring opportunities.
The entities involved in planning the leagues include Milwaukee Public Schools, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, Milwaukee Bucks, City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention and Running Rebels.
Midnight leagues became popular in the 1990s. Organizers here stepped up planning following last summer’s unrest in Sherman Park by creating MPS C.A.R.E.S., which stands for Community and Recreation Engaging Students.
MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver says young people need to know, "that we have our doors open for them and that we are here to help support them."
The leagues will start on March 1 at Bradley Tech High School. Each league will run 10-weeks and welcome up to 100 young city men. At this time, three leagues are planned.