NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The 6th annual Shoot Hoops Not Guns basketball tournament brought together more than just police and young people.
The all-day event at Maury High School in Norfolk also brought out rank and file community members like Bailey Monroe, who moved to the area to serve in the military.
“I stay to myself pretty much, but when I see stuff online I try to come out,” Monroe said. “This is my second year doing this.”
The main objective of the tournament is to raise awareness of gun violence in the community while at the same time fostering relationships with police and the community.
“It just opens up those lines of communications,” said Capt. Michele Naughton, of the Norfolk Police Department. “Focuses on reducing gun violence and finding an opportunity for our youth to engage in other activities outside of criminal activity.”
Police Chief Larry Boone stepped in for the initial tip off and officers served as coaches for the teams.
“I’m sure by the end of the day I’ll exchange some numbers and get to know some people and maybe make a new friend,” Monroe said.
Naughton said Monroe might not even realize the good he is doing.
“He can be impactful to [the youth] as well,” Naughton said. “He is a military servant, he is doing a good job serving our country, he may be able to afford them opportunities with the military because of his experience, so its a win win all around.”