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HOOPS ON MISSION | Non-profit empowers youth through basketball

Posted at 10:04 PM, Dec 22, 2023

FORT MYERS, Fla. — At the Stars Complex on Friday night, hundreds of basketballs, gifts and t-shirts were handed out thanks to Hoops on Mission.

The non-profit was founded by Dwayne Jackson, who grew up playing basketball on the courts in Dunbar. It all started 10 years ago with a question.

"One day I was at the park and a kid said, 'man Coach Jackson can you give me a basketball?' And I was like yeah!" Jackson said.

The first basketball led to his first event.

"I started in the trunk of my Toyota Camry just passing out basketballs and it's just been growing and growing every year since then," Jackson said.

It's grown ever since. On Friday, he helped nearly 300 kids with more than 15 organizations contributing to the non-profit's event.

Jackson hopes to inspire and empower youth in southwest Florida through mentorship, leadership and resources.

"Dwyane kind of guides them, he's like a second dad to a lot of people," said Sandro Manrique, a member of Hoops on Mission.

The exercise, along with the mentorship, is what Jackson hopes the non-profit will do top help kids score big in the future.

"It's changed my son, it's changed me, and I don't want it to quit," said Tammi Russell, founder of Booster Club.