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East Moline Police play local community members in annual Hoops for Hope event

EAST MOLINE, Illinois-- Dozens of people stopped by Hereford Park to watch the East Moline Police Department take on a local community organization in a friendly game of basketball Wednesday, June 13.

United We Ball hosted its 3rd annual Hoops 4 Hope event.

“We want everybody to engage with the officers more, people to meet new friends and people to learn something about them,” says Kannon Burrage.

The East Moline native and professional basketball player started the program in 2016 during his off-time playing overseas.

He’s now accepted a local coaching position and he says the Hoops 4 Hope even has only grown.

“This is pretty much my vision on steroids, so this is a real beautiful thing a real beautiful day,” says Burrage.

A chance for police officers to build relationships with the community both on and off the court.

“Usually we’re dealing with trouble situations and when we get to come out in a positive way and interact with the neighborhoods and the families, it is just fantastic,” says Lieutenant John Showalter.

Right now, United We Ball is 3-0 against the East Moline Police Department.

Burrage says next year he plans to mix up players from the police department and the community.