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A white police officer in Charlotte learned to understand the perspective of a young person of color. A girl in Chicago shared how her perceptions of law enforcement had changed.

Both completed Building Bridges Through Basketball programs.

A partnership among RISE, Under Armour and the NBA, Building Bridges Through Basketball is an award-winning program that uses basketball to unite middle and high school youth with local police officers in cities across the country. The 10-week program creates space for them to break barriers, build trust and create pathways for positive communication. Weekly sessions combine basketball training with a leadership and cultural competency curriculum designed by RISE covering topics such as identity, bias, privilege, racism and leadership. Officers and youth have the chance to hear new perspectives, develop relationships, discuss the challenges they face and their collective responsibility to create change and build stronger communities.

Through a grant from Under Armour, RISE is leading the execution of Building Bridges Through Basketball programs in 10 new cities starting in 2022, partnering with local youth-serving organizations and law enforcement to hold two seasons of the 10-week program each year through 2024. Building upon existing programs in Chicago, Charlotte and the Bay Area, the grant programs are scheduled to launch in Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

Building Bridges Through Basketball, which first began at NBA All-Star 2017 in New Orleans through a collaboration between the NBA and RISE, won the Corporate Community Impact Award at the 2019 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Awards.

Our Programs

Chicago — The longest running Building Bridges Through Basketball program, RISE, Under Armour and the NBA will hold the fifth season of the 10-week program with the Union League Boys & Girls Clubs and Chicago Police Department in Fall 2022. The program, which held its fourth season in Fall 2021, was celebrated by the NBA during All-Star Weekend 2020 in Chicago. The third season in May 2019 concluded with a special celebration at the NBA Draft Combine. The first season took place in Summer 2017 and the second season began in March 2018.

Bay Area — RISE, Under Armour and the NBA tipped off the first season of Building Bridges Through Basketball in the Bay Area with the Golden State Warriors, McClymonds High School, SPAAT and Oakland Police Department in March 2022.

Charlotte — RISE, Under Armour and the NBA launched the 10-week program in Charlotte during NBA All-Star Weekend 2019, and ran weekly sessions through May 2019. A second season ran in the Fall 2021 and a third season tipped off in March 2022. Partners include the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation, with sessions held at the Naomi Drenan Recreation Center.

Los Angeles — RISE partnered with the NBA, Under Armour and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles for a 10-week program (January through April 2018) at Challengers Boys & Girls Club with members of the Los Angeles Police Department.

New Orleans — RISE partnered with the NBA, New Orleans Pelicans, New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and Up2Us Sports for a six-week pilot program (January and February 2017) called Saturday Morning Hoops. The program engaged more than 75 youth and members of the New Orleans Police Department.

Detroit — RISE partnered with the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Police Athletic League for two seasons of the 10-week program with members of the Detroit Police Department. The first season (October to December 2017) engaged middle and high school youth across two locations in Detroit, Monday evenings at S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center and Friday evenings at Chosen Generation Community Center. The second season (October 2018 to January 2019) included participants from Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and took place at S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center.



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