The Basketball Cop... One Year Later
It's the story almost everyone knows by now... Basketball Cop Bobby White became internet famous after his video responding to a call about loud kids playing basketball in the street went viral. White joined the game, and then the whole world tuned in to hear what this man had to say.
Now one year later, Officer White takes a look back at all he has accomplished, and talks about where the Basketball Cop Foundation goes from here... He never thought the attention would continue one year later. "I thought, okay for these two weeks I'm going to be busy and then it's going to taper off. And it just hasn't at all."
When White was first in the spotlight, he rejected the attention, believing the basketball video was nothing special. White was convinced by GPD's Ben Tobias to share his story, to speak for all officers who interact with kids in the community. White realized, "This is an opportunity to tell the world now, you have this stage, where you have an opportunity to tell the world that message... so let's go do it."
Then came White's idea for the Basketball Cop Foundation. A real chance to make a difference in the lives of local kids, kids that are still a part of his life. White explains, "They call me to say hello, they'll call me to tell me about their report cards. I do stop by there a lot. I had the whole crew over my house for Christmas. That's a relationship that's going to be here forever. They're pretty much my second family."
He believes interactions like this change the way kids see the police. He says, "Not only do they have a different perception of Officer White, but a different perception of law enforcement as a whole."
White's goal is to help other police officer build relationships with kids in their communities, like he has with three year old Duke. White says, "Duke doesn't really have a positive male figure in his life, and I've become that. I'm his emergency contact at his school. I see him all the time. I was at his house two days ago. My dream is to mimic that relationship with officers across the country."
The Basketball Cop Foundation is starting to form partnerships with police departments across the world, like the NYPD. He plans to continue sending basketballs and hoops around the country, and building courts for those in need.
He says, "The Hoops Across America Initiative where we're sending these basketball hoops to police agencies across the country, that's always going to continue. There's 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the country, so we'll never run out of work."
Ideas with Spalding, The Ronald McDonald House, and of course, Shaquille O'Neal, are in the works.
One thing is certain, the Basketball Cop Foundation is not slowing down anytime soon.
To follow Officer White's stories, you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @BasketballCop and @BasketballCopFoundation.