What is the Midnight Basketball Program?

A man riding a skateboard up the side of a road

Midnight Basketball is a program that developed in the mid 1990s as a solution to curb urban crime in the country by keeping urban youths away from the streets and participating them in programs to reduce crime and drug abuse. It was started by G. Vanstandifer in the mid 1980s. The program was made up of numerous neighborhood watch teams. The program lasted for several years until it was replaced by the National Basketball League (NBL). Later, the NBA moved its all time leading scorer, Michael Redd, into their basketball coaching staff. The team was then renamed the Orlando Magic and moved to downtown Orlando.

An Overview

A young girl holding a racket

Since the program’s inception, there have been various efforts to duplicate it. Most notable was the All-Star Weekend for high school students in attendance. The weekend featured professional basketball leagues from across the country, which was an all-star event. This was followed by the Nike Hoop Summit, an event that showcased several high schools around the country in games that were televised by ESPN. In both instances, the organizers of the events made it known that the main purpose of the events was to engage young men in sports and to promote community relations.

A year later, another attempt to duplicate the Midnight Basketball program was undertaken by Northern Arizona University and the University of Alabama. Similar to the earlier efforts, the events were televised. The tournament was called the Ramblers Classic and was attended by top college basketball players from the country. The event was again sponsored by a national basketball league.

A third attempt to duplicate the midnight basketball program was undertaken in 2021. This time, basketball play was added to the program. Students would sign up to play basketball. They would also be required to attend training sessions. A full cast of athletes appeared at the event, which was again promoted by a national sports conference.

Midnight Basketball Program

A sunset over a fence

Basketball and life skills remain popular. Many high schools feature a midnight basketball program as a part of their routine. Many teachers look to integrate the sport into the learning process for their students. This provides a way to bring some activity into the classroom, while showing students how to get involved in the world around them.

There are many ways to incorporate basketball into the curriculum. One way to do this is through the program’s role as a mentor. The Ramblers program uses their Midnight Basketball Movement as a way to introduce young people to the sport and introduce crime prevention through sportsmanship. The team acts as a vessel in which the students travel. Students act out a variety of different roles throughout the program; some of them are basketball coaches, teachers, crime prevention coordinators, and volunteers.

The Ramblers Basketball League is a semi-professional basketball league for elementary school aged children. The Ramblers play against other elementary schools from throughout the nation every year. The Midnight Basketball program has been used in conjunction with the Ramblers to introduce new students to the sport of basketball. The RBL has a long standing history of involvement in community basketball leagues and other good works. The league runs throughout the year, but has now entered the fifth season. Each team has a number of players who are chosen for their skill sets and abilities.

Final Words

The Ramblers have placed fifth in their last six standings. The Midnight Basketball Program has introduced basketball to many young men who otherwise may not have known how to play or were too shy to try the sport. The Ramblers have made it possible for some of these young men to gain exposure to the sport and have gained a strong foundation of skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. Midnight Basketball has proven that the hard work of putting together a good program of basketball and developing good basketball players can pay off. Basketball is a very rewarding sport and can teach young men many valuable lessons including self-confidence, dedication, patience, teamwork, and helping one another develop a positive attitude. Basketball is also a great way for families to bond together and get out in the community to enjoy the great outdoors.

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