Thursday, March 23, 2017
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Meet Basketball Cop.
GoFundMe Heroes celebrates the everyday
people who do extraordinary things on
“The call came from outside my normal patrol zone.
I took it because we were really busy, and I sensed an opportunity.
A lot of kids are nervous around cops because of what they’ve seen.
The relationship between youth and law enforcement isn’t where
it should be. I saw the call and thought, ‘Perfect — this is the
In January 2016, Gainesville police officer Bobby White
responded to a call that changed his life. After someone
complained of a group of teenagers playing basketball “loudly”
in the street, White drove to the scene.
The kids froze when Officer White rolled up, stepped out of his
patrol car, and started walking toward them.
“Can you believe someone’s calling and complaining about kids
playing basketball in the streets? I don’t know who called, but
obviously I ain’t got a problem with it,” said White as he grabbed
the ball and aimed at the hoop.
Then, they started to play. Other kids from the street joined in.
Ten minutes later when White left, eight kids had joined in —
and his dashboard camera had caught it all on tape.
Little did White know, the Gainesville PD’s Public Information
Officer decided to post the video on the department’s Facebook
page with the hashtag #HoopsNotCrime. Views began rolling
in. Six hours later, the video hit one million views and kept
climbing — all the way to 17 million.
Officer White—aka “Basketball Cop”—became an overnight
sensation but insisted that what he did was no big deal. “This
is what cops do every day. It’s not out of the ordinary. If you
look for it, you’ll see it.”
White began giving interviews, and people started sending
basketball equipment to the department. That’s when he
realized that with the attention came a valuable opportunity…
He had a chance to change the relationship between
police officers and youth across the country.
Officer White’s first step was to start a GoFundMe for the
aptly named Basketball Cop Foundation. Donations helped
White set up the nonprofit as a registered 501c3, build two
pro-size basketball courts for Gainesville youth, and send