KANSAS CITY, Kan. — If you're still looking for fireworks in your area to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, you may want to check out Freedom Hoops' stand at 4001 Mission Road in Kansas City, Kansas.
The organization is an urban basketball discipleship ministry.
Freedom Hoops founder Michael Loney said it's about cultivating disciples on the court and one-on-one.
"Our mission is to get in the lives of young men and leaders to get in the lives of our kids to make more and more disciples to know and follow Jesus," Loney said. "That's our heartbeat."
For the past few years, Freedom Hoops teammates sold fireworks to benefit the program and help residents celebrate the Fourth of July.
This year, however, was a bit different due to COVID-19. While they're still selling fireworks, they now have an online and curbside order process. Masks are worn, hand sanitizer is used and baskets are wiped down throughout the day.
Freedom Hoops basketball players Qwandell Flag and Tristan Hampton were working the stands on Thursday.
"Tuesday was kinda slow, but then it picked up," Flag said about sales. "Some days it's slow but then some days it picked up. It's been good though. I liked helping out customers and I like helping little kids younger than me. It feels good."
For Hampton, he's learning about the ins and outs of the job.
"I learned product presentation and the people," Hampton said. "If the product don't look good, the people not gonna buy it — so if the presentation don't look good, the people not gonna buy it. Just go around, don't sit around and make sure you can find anything that you can fix."
For 11-year-old Flag, he said it's been stressful not being able to see some of his teammates due to COVID-19.
"I love being able to spend time with my team and talking to them and like playing with them and it helps me learn more about them," Flag said. "Since the corona hit and the lockdown, I haven't been able to do none of that so it's been kinda stressful. I miss being on the court."
While he hasn't been on the court, reuniting with some of his coaches and teammates at the fireworks stand is exciting.
"It's been real good to see them," Flag said.
If you are interested in buying fireworks, Freedom Hoops has its stand set up at 4001 Mission Road in Kansas City, Kansas. They will be out there Friday and Saturday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.