Roanoke City Councilman Sherman Lea said, while basketball attracts the kids to the league, it's what they learn from the "quality moment" presentations before each game that he hopes they'll remember. "We’ll have people from all walks of life come forward to discuss how they have overcome obstacles to attain success," Lea explained.
Zone 4 [NW] Community Resource Officer Joshua Johnson came up with the idea that later became LYOB. His goal from the beginning was to improve relations between officers and the community. "The LYOB provided a venue for juveniles and families to interact with officers outside of the law enforcement environment, and due to this relationship, we are able to provide a better service to the community, in Melrose-Rugby and Loudon-Melrose specifically," Officer Johnson said.
The Inner City Athletic Association, Roanoke Parks & Rec, and Roanoke City Schools have also been important partners in this initiative. LYOB reduced crime in the Melrose area by 29-percent last year on nights when the league was playing.
Terry Huxhold, president of the Southeast Action Forum, welcomed LYOB to the neighborhood and said he's excited about what it'll mean for children in the community.
Roanoke Parks & Rec will update the paint and nets for the basketball goals before play begins.