Firetree Place may be hoops solution for kids

Alize Johnson, the former Bishop Neumann basketball star, has established himself as something even more important than National Basketball Association player.

It turns out he’s a pretty solid citizen of this community who has not forgotten his roots.

So, when one attempt to give back to his community hit a roadblock, he found an alternative route to complete his mission.

Johnson’s original intention was to pay for — with some help — a basketball court for kids at Memorial Park, where he learned the game.

That effort ran into some roadblocks related to use of the city property for the court.

So he recruited Firetree Place to host the court at its 600 Campbell St. complex.

While the site is not where Johnson honed his NBA skills, the fit may be even more ideal.

The organization’s mission is to empower children to do their best academically and recreationally. That combination is meant to help them overcome whatever obstacles are keeping them from developing into productive people.

There are countless stories of kids who grew and learned through athletics the skills that helped them develop well beyond what they might otherwise have become. We have seen it too many times to believe it is anything but a truism.

So where the court is does not matter nearly as much as the fact that it may provide the setting to help kids grow in a positive way and reach the potential that is in all of us.

Hopefully, the details can be worked out to get the court at Firetree Place and be the inspiration that comes with the kids knowing who made it possible. Maybe that will unlock the key to them reaching their potential.

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