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NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball

Launch date: January 2012 End date: N/A

NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball is a free weekly basketball tournament that provides males 16 years and older with a safe and constructive space to interact, build bonds, receive guidance from positive male role models and get connected to educational opportunities, jobs and other support services.

Why part of murder reduction strategy

Young men need opportunities for safe activities during times of peak violence. Moreover, the environment is a vehicle to expose the participants to positive role models and get them connected to resources they need.

Risk/protective factors addressed: Lack of recreational opportunities; connectedness to adults outside the family; involvement in social activities

Performance indicators and results

Number of participants

Initiative partners

  • Partners: New Orleans Pelicans, GeauxPlay, DJ Wild Wayne (Q93), RPM Pizza (Domino’s), Nike, Reebok, Durham School Services, MetroPCS, Circular Consulting
  • Speakers: Over 40
  • Service Providers: Over 20


Christopher Williams

Before attending Midnight Basketball, I spent most of my time working long hours for a local pharmacy. My love for the game of basketball drew me to the Midnight Basketball program, where I was later introduced to a variety of resources offered by NOLA FOR LIFE. The particular resource that caught my attention was STRIVE New Orleans – a four-week job readiness training program offered through the Mayor’s Network for Economic Opportunity strategy. STRIVE helped me changed my outlook on life, and now I’m working for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. Midnight Basketball taught me that resources are out there, and people really want to help. 

Dennis Lauscha – President, New Orleans Pelicans

Midnight Basketball has proven to be a much needed, positive outlet that has helped provide leadership and organized direction for the many young men that have participated in this project over the years. We’ve witnessed first-hand the power of positive mentorships and the importance of having an outlet that allows members of our city to live an active and healthy lifestyle. This continues to be a positive program with a bright future with which we are pleased to be associated.

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