NEW ORLEANS, LA—Saturday night, the second season of SOS NOLA Midnight Basketball League will begin. The opening tournament kicked off January 14, 2012. Since then, the program has seen a great response from the community.
SOS NOLA Midnight Basketball League is a part of the Mayor’s SOS NOLA: Saving Our Sons campaign. SOS NOLA: Saving Our Sons is a public engagement campaign, launched by Mayor Landrieu in September 2011, which calls on the entire community – faith‐based groups, non‐profits, police, residents and businesses – to proactively invest in the lives of our young men to prevent lifestyles of violence. Saving Our Sons and SOS NOLA Midnight Basketball are both initiatives of Mayor Landrieu’s NOLA FOR LIFE plan.
“The inaugural season of the SOS Midnight Basketball League was very impressive and successful and we are excited about kicking off the second season,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We are committed to an all hands on deck approach, where we all do our part to combat the murder epidemic. We all are needed to help find solutions that work and to support opportunities for our young people that are constructive, healthy and worthwhile. We look forward to this season being bigger and better than the last and providing more chances for positive activity in our community”
The SOS NOLA campaign has included: Crime Action Summit, Neighborhood Watch Trainings, Night Out Against Crime, a Mentorship Orientation and Midnight Basketball. These events brought out over 3,000 citizens to learn and engage in this important issue.
This year, special effort has been given to furthering the impact of the Saving Our Sons campaign by focusing specifically on the design and implementation of results‐oriented plans. As a result of discussions with community leaders in the highest crime areas in the City, SOS Midnight Basketball focuses on creating positive opportunities for young males to take part in at night.
The first Midnight Basketball season was launched in 2012 and ran from January to March. The initial pilot of this program took place every other Saturday night at the St. Bernard Center from 8pm to 12 midnight. Each night, this free event provided a safe and constructive space for the young men of New Orleans to interact and build bonds. The New Orleans Hornets have committed to investing in Midnight Basketball in partnership with the City.
This year, the program has expanded to a once per week occurrence and has found its new home at Joseph Clark Preparatory High School in the city’s Treme neighborhood.
In May 2012, Mayor Landrieu released NOLA FOR LIFE: A Comprehensive Murder Reduction Strategy, containing new and ongoing initiatives to improve public safety in New Orleans.
Building on the work of the Administration’s first two years, the NOLA FOR LIFE plan includes a strong focus on stopping the shootings. Recognizing, however, that government alone cannot solve the murder problem, the NOLA FOR LIFE plan takes a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem, and divides the plan into five main categories:
Stop the Shooting;
Invest in Prevention;
Promote Jobs and Opportunity;
Improve the NOPD; and
Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods.
SOS NOLA Midnight Basketball will consist of a series of 5-on-5 tournaments. Each tournament will follow the NCAA tournament style structure. Tournaments will take place every Saturday through November 24 at Joseph Clark Preparatory High School, 1301 Derbigny Street; from 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Registration begins at 7:00 p.m. SOS NOLA Midnight Basketball is free of charge and open to males over 16 years of age.