Often, sports can be used for so much more than wins and losses; one south Tulsa program is doing just that, aiming at using basketball to change lives.
Every Friday this summer, the gym at Spirit Life Church on South Peoria comes alive with Midnight Basketball.
And even though it takes place closer to lunchtime than late night, it’s making an impact in one Tulsa neighborhood.
"If it wasn't for this Midnight Basketball, a large majority of them would not have anything to do. The community is stepping up and giving these kids an option," said Tulsa Police Officer Popsey Floyd.
Once a week for three hours, kids come to the church for hoops, a hearty meal and to hear some words of wisdom.
"They know this is a safe place they can go and have fun and be in a safe environment, so they show up consistently," Floyd said.
Former ORU basketball coach Scott Sutton is the program’s ‘honorary director,’ and helps the younger kids learn the fundamentals of the game.
"I'm honored and really feel blessed to be a part of this. To have the impact, hopefully, just a little bit, on these young people's lives," he said.
Floyd said, "It's giving kids another opportunity to see police officers in a whole new perspective, which is like, 'Man, they play basketball?' They're just like me!’"