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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Ocala Police Department donates $2,700 to House of Hoopz

Thanks to the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, the Ocala Police Department was recently able to make a generous donation to a local nonprofit organization using assets and money that were seized during crimes.

On Tuesday, October 4, Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken and Councilmember Kristen Dreyer presented the $2,700 donation to Coach Roosevelt Overstreet and his nonprofit organization, House of Hoopz.

OPD donation to House of Hoopz October 4 2022 Mike Balken and Kristen Dreyer
Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken (right) and Councilmember Kristen Dreyer (left) presenting the $2,700 check to Coach Roosevelt Overstreet (center)

The organization, which provides year-round basketball instruction to children between the ages of 8 to 18, strives to develop each child’s athletic and leadership skills while helping them become future leaders in their communities.

According to OPD, the donated funds will help cover the cost of equipment, uniforms, scholarships, travel expenses, league fees, and more.

“Youth sports has long been known to have many benefits,” stated Dreyer. “Not only does being on a team teach valuable social skills, but it also has the ability to increase academic performance, keep kids off the streets and impact families in a positive way. Because of this, I am honored to support Coach Overstreet.”

Balken said, “Coach Overstreet and his House of Hoopz nonprofit does much more than teach basketball skills to kids. His program develops life skills and promotes values that help children have a bright and successful future.”

Over the past couple of years, OPD has partnered with Coach Overstreet and his nonprofit to launch the “Hoops & Badges” event where police officers challenge the House of Hoopz traveling youth basketball team, Ocala Trilogy, to an exhibition game.

On its Facebook webpage, OPD shared video footage which showcases some of the on-court action from the department’s second basketball game against Ocala Trilogy.

“It’s a great opportunity for law enforcement to engage with and improve relationships with our youth,” stated OPD in a social media post. “Both years, Ocala Trilogy went home with the trophy and bragging rights.”