In the summer of 2015, the Roanoke Police Department joined Roanoke City Councilman Sherman Lea, Roanoke Parks and Recreation, and several other community organizations to start the Lea Youth Outdoor Basketball League.
The City of Roanoke renovated the three basketball courts at Melrose Park for league play. Games were on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the months of June and July. More than 200 kids and teenagers participated. Officers volunteered time as coaches, referees, and scoreboard operators.
There was also a "quality moment" speech before the tip-off of the evening's first games. Initiated by Councilman Lea, "quality moment" speakers talked about the importance of teamwork, doing well in school, and developing your own dreams and drive to make a positive impact on the community and in life. Quality moment speakers included Roanoke Police Captain Sam Roman (right), and former Virginia Tech Hokies and NFL running back Kevin Jones.
The league plans to be back in the summer of 2016.