Data News Staff Report
On Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, Mayor Mitch Landrieu launched Season 16 of NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball. Additionally, in partnership with the National Basketball Players Association Foundation (NBPAF), Midnight Basketball will offer scholarship opportunities for Season 16 participants.
“Since 2012, NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball has impacted the lives of over 13,000 young people across New Orleans providing access to real opportunities,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “I am thankful for our strong partners who continue to support the mission of connecting our young men to positive role models, community resources, jobs and educational opportunities. Together, we are helping to change the culture of violence in our city.”
The event included remarks from CeaseFire New Orleans participant Tevin Butler. CeaseFire New Orleans is a NOLA FOR LIFE initiative that focuses on changing community norms about violence by mobilizing support services and the larger community to demand a change in behaviors that lead to shootings and killings.
Additionally, Midnight Basketball, in partnership with the NBPAF, will provide the second round of scholarships at the close of Season 16.
During the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend, the NBPA Foundation made a scholarship commitment to Midnight Basketball of $50,000 per year for the next three years. The NBPA Foundation’s commitment will provide select Midnight Basketball participants the opportunity to attend industry-certified job training programs in New Orleans.
The first round of scholarships were awarded at the close of Season 15 to three participants: Cornell Parquet, Narvin Reed and Trenton Anderson. Parquet is using the scholarship funds to help pay for his tuition at Southern University of New Orleans. Reed is applying his scholarship toward acquiring his Information Technology credentials. Lastly, Anderson is using his scholarship toward his tuition at the University of New Orleans.
Executive Director of the NBPA Foundation Sherrie Deans said, “The three scholarship recipients from last season are such inspiring examples of how young men can benefit from Midnight Basketball and other NOLA FOR LIFE programs. We are so proud to continue our support of these programs, and we look forward to being part of the new season.”
Deputy Mayor Judy Reese Morse said, “We are grateful for the support of our Midnight Basketball partners. The program’s continued success would not be possible without their commitment to creating access to opportunities for our young people.”
The winning team will earn Domino’s Pizza gift cards and tickets to an upcoming New Orleans Pelicans game.
Again this year, Midnight Basketball is partnering with New Orleans’ radio personality DJ Wild Wayne and PlayNOLA. The free seven-week season will continue Saturday nights, from Oct. 28 – Dec. 16, excluding Nov. 25, from 8 p.m. to midnight.