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Akron, Ohio

Midnight Basketball Program Returns to Akron

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Registration available for league at Mason Park Community Center running from June 17th through August 7th

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander- Nischt
Published: 06-13-2019

Mayor Dan Horrigan is bringing Midnight Basketball back to Akron this summer, and the league launches next week. The program, which brings together sports and social services, is one outcome of the Youth Violence Prevention Strategic Plan, a community-wide push to reduce and prevent youth violence.  The City is taking the lead on efforts to provide safe, healthy recreational opportunities for Akron’s young people.

The Midnight Basketball Program will take place at Mason Park Community Center (700 E. Exchange Street) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM. The league, which runs from June 17th through August 7th, is free of charge, but registration is required. Young men age 18 or older are eligible to sign up, and will then be placed into a team.

Each game will be preceded by a motivational or educational speaker from the community. Midnight Basketball participants must attend this pre-game session to be eligible to play ball.  Speakers will cover a range of topics including child support, driver’s license reinstatement, life and medical insurance, job preparation and resume writing, health screening, fatherhood, gang violence, family resources and more.  100 Black Men of Akron will provide mentoring and follow-up with players to connect them with services in the community and help them avoid risky behaviors.

“This league isn’t just about providing fun summer recreation, it’s also about engaging our next generation by meeting them where they are,” Mayor Horrigan said. “The information and inspiration the speakers will bring to each game will empower these players to make informed decisions about their careers, families, and health. By bringing the resources to them, we are reducing barriers and strengthening community connections that will make our neighborhoods safer.”

Spots in Akron’s Midnight Basketball league are still available on a first come, first served basis.  Applications are available online here. Interested players can register in person at any of the City’s community centers or contact (330) 374-2804 for more information.

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