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Freedom Hoops holds fireworks fundraiser to support after-school basketball program

freedom hoops fireworks fundraiser.jpg
Posted at 3:24 PM, Jul 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-03 20:54:25-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan.  — Alongside their families and mentors, Kansas City-area teens are selling fireworks over the 4th of July weekend in hopes of raising money for Freedom Hoops, their after-school basketball program.

"It's more a family than a basketball team to me," said Riley Jones, who plays with Freedom Hoops.

The program offers a place where inner-city kids can be themselves and play the sport they love.

"Freedom Hoops is a ministry that serves students through after-school basketball programs, coaching, mentoring, providing a space to be at and play basketball," said Christian Jones with Freedom Hoops.

Teens involved in the program say it's changing their lives.

"They teach me to go on the right path even when we give up on ourselves," said player Jay Green. "They push us to do our best at whatever we may do."

But to keep it running, money must be raised throughout the year. The organization is hoping people buy fireworks from them at their stand, despite the rise in cost.

"Everything is more expensive, but it's looking like we are having an okay year," Jones said.

While some may underestimate the influence an after-school program can have, the teens say they appreciate the outlet to express themselves and connect with mentors.

"They brighten up your day even if you are not expecting it," Green said. "You could be having the worst day ever, but you end up laughing, joking around, playing, coaches playing around."

The stand is located at 4001 Mission Road in Kansas City, Kansas. It is open until 10 p.m. Sunday and will reopen at 9 a.m. Monday.