A 7-year-old wins the Syracuse Police Department Basketball Challenge

This week’s “Thankful Thursday” would like to commend the innovative approach of Syracuse, NY Police Officer Brandon Hanks on how he connects with his community.  

Officer Hanks said, “The only time I ever really saw them in my neighborhood was when someone was going to jail or getting arrested.” To change that perception for the community, Officer Hanks posted a challenge to Facebook.  Officer Hanks’ challenge to the kids is to beat him in a one-on-one basketball game. If any of the kids lose, they would have do a set of push-ups. But if any of the kids win, Officer Hanks would buy the winner a pair of sneakers. Officer Hanks wanted the outreach to help show police as role models and to build connections with the kids.

After 27 straight wins and remaining undefeated in his challenge, Officer Hanks finally lost to seven-year-old Josiah Brandon. To win the challenge, Josiah just took the basketball from Officer Hanks and sank the ball into the basket. 

As the winner, Josiah received a police escort to the store. Josiah picked out a size two pair of Nikes shoes. Of course, Officer Hanks took out his credit card and paid the $70 bill. Officer Hanks does it for the kids, but the kids do it for the kicks.

As Officer Hanks becomes known for playing basketball with the kids in his community, he too has attracted the attention of Los Angeles Lakers Rajon Rondo. The Rajon Rondo Foundation, http://creativecaddie.com/rondo/foundation/ sent the Syracuse Police Department 25 pairs of sneakers to support Officer Hanks’ basketball challenge. The Rajon Rondo Foundation said in a statement quote: “We are always willing to provide support to people who are willing to use their time, talent and treasure to make this world a better place.”