Philly cops, kids build bridges with high school hoops competition

Mike DeNardo
November 26, 2019 - 4:00 am
Philly cops and a group of young men play a friendly game of basketball at Community College of Philadelphia.

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia police officers confronted a group of young men Monday in a friendly competition on the basketball court at Community College of Philadelphia as part of a service learning project by three high school students. 

The hoops tournament saw student teams playing each other, with the winners playing a group of Philadelphia police officers. It was the brainchild of three juniors at Parkway Center City Middle College — high school students who simultaneously take courses at CCP. 

Jamie Gusrang, a sociology assistant professor at CCP, gave them a service learning assignment.

"My role, really was just to give them the project. And these students really ran with it," Gusrang said. 

Junior Jaden Burnett said he wanted to help young people and police to better understand each other.

"We wanted to do something big for our community. So we thought: How about we bridge the gap between police and the youth in our community?" Burnett said. 

And junior Frank Gillis-Corbitt said the cops-versus-kids game was born. 

"We are trying to establish that connection between the kids and the cops, to make sure that we know what they go through and they know what we go through on a daily basis, also," Gillis-Corbitt said. 

The 10th graders beat the cops 20-13.  

But junior Quadir Gamble wanted to give spectators more than a good game.

"I want them to leave with a sense of hope," Gamble said.

The tournament also raised money for children who have lost loved ones to homicide.