Building Bridges Through Basketball is a 10-week (June through August 2017) summer enrichment program that brings local youth and law enforcement together in Chicago. The program engages 70 teens in 2.5-hour sessions on Thursday afternoons featuring a combination of on-court basketball programming and hands-on learning developed by RISE focused on leadership, conflict resolution, identity and diversity.

The Chicago program is an expansion of a similar six-week (January and February 2017) program piloted by the NBA and RISE in New Orleans called Saturday Morning Hoops.


Partners with RISE in the Chicago program are the NBA, Under Armour and Union League Boys & Girls Club, with officers from the Chicago Police Department participating.

In New Orleans, partners with RISE were the NBA, New Orleans Pelicans, New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) and Up2Us Sports, with members of the New Orleans Police Department participating.




Pre- and post-tests are administered to measure program impact on attitudes, level of understanding and satisfaction.

The results at the conclusion of the New Orleans program:

  • 89 percent of the student-athletes said they felt trusted and appreciated by the police.
  • Participants said they improved their level of understanding most significantly in the areas of leadership, trust, implicit bias and ethnicity.
  • 96 percent said they enjoyed the program, while 100 percent said they would attend the program again.

For more information about Building Bridges Through Basketball, email us at

Download pdf about this program

Photos from tip-off event announcing Chicago program