Building Bridges with Basketball 2022

This February, the Los Angeles Lakers returned with the 2022 installment of Building Bridges with Basketball. This program serves as an opportunity for members of the Los Angeles Police Department and at-risk youth from local community organizations to engage in virtual conversations around dynamic topics. Using the sport as a bridge for these discussions, the ultimate intention is to break down barriers and build positive, lasting connections that last beyond each session and permeate the community.

This year, the Lakers welcomed community participants from Project Blue, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, and COMMUNITYx. Three virtual conversations were held, moderated by Sean Sheppard, founder of non-profit Game Changer. In the days following each conversation, participants came together to enjoy a Lakers home game and meal at Crypto.com Arena.

Each meeting covered topics such as implicit bias, fair treatment/integrity, and trust. Contributors to the conversations offered spirited opinions and respectful solutions, and almost all had one main theme in common: communication between civilians and officers must continue to grow.