Friday, January 4, 2013

Third Annual MLK Law Enforcement Basketball Tournament

Martin Luther King, Jr. was very involved with the Civil Rights Movement here in Durham, delivering his famous Fill Up The Jails speech at White Rock Baptist Church on Fayetteville Street. To celebrate Dr. King, there will be an event to honor both law enforcement officers and raise college scholarship funds for underprivileged youth.

For the third consecutive year, Battle of the Badges will host its annual Law Enforcement Basketball Tournament in North Carolina. This year’s games will be January 11-12, 2013, at the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham, N.C.

Battle of the Badges was created in 2000 by Wake County Detention Officer Jerome Hall to raise scholarship money for college-bound youth in underprivileged areas nationwide, and to honor law enforcement officers who have died. The two-day “battle” also serves as an opportunity for officers from all aspects of law enforcement, and their supporters, to gather for friendly competition and networking fellowship.

This year’s Battle of the Badges honors Durham Police officer Elbert Mitchell III, who died in a motorcycle accident in May 2011 in Myrtle Beach, SC. The inaugural Battle of the Badges, a decade ago was held in Baltimore, Md., in honor of Maryland State Trooper Corporal Edward M. Toatley, killed in the line of duty. For the last two years, the event was held in Raleigh.

The teams scheduled to compete in this year’s “battle” are from New York, Durham, Mecklenburg County (NC), Atlanta, Prince George’s County (MD) and Connecticut. Since it began, Battle of the Badge has raised close to $10,000 in scholarship money for students at a Maryland high school.

“This event is about more than just playing basketball to me,” said Hall, the event founder and organizer. “It also provides scholarships for worthy students to continue their education, and brings professional men and women together to play a sport they love.”

The Emily Krzyzewski Center, named in honor of the mother of Duke University basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, opened in 2006. The Center serves academically-focused, low-income students with out-of-school programs designed to help them achieve in school, attend college, and break cycles of family poverty.

“We are very excited about our partnership with the Emily K Center,” Hall said. “We invite the community out to support our family-oriented event that impacts all of us, far and wide.”

Durham is a city where basketball is well-loved, and as a place where the community takes an active role.  Learn more about Durham here.

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