LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The dribble on the court is constant every Friday in Lake Charles as Ward 3 Recreation hosts pickup basketball games for kids age 8-16.
Doors are open from 8 p.m. until midnight at the Pryce Miller Rec Center so kids can play late into summer nights.
Anthony Weston and Lamarion Armstead are participating in the program and say this is a far more productive use of time.
“Some kids just stay up past midnight on their phones, but you could come here and play with your friends, and it’s a good place to be,” Weston said.
“It keeps people out of trouble that way," Armstead said. "They don’t have to suffer the worst consequences of what they’re doing. It keeps kids active and healthy and just keeps you out of trouble.”
Kip Texada, Executive Director for Ward 3 recreations said for minors, nothing good can happen while being out past curfew and this is a good way to keep kids out of trouble.
“We see the crime rate normally is very high on a Friday night," Texada said. “This is the most when kids are out, they don’t have anything to do, they become bored. When kids become bored, they find something to do."
Even though the pickup basketball games continue well past curfew for the kids, Ward 3 has worked it our with the sheriff’s office and police department so that the players will not get in trouble for walking home from the program.
It’s not just basketball that the kids get from this program, Texada has guest speakers from different backgrounds come in and talk to the kids and give them positive role models.
“The speakers are great they come and help you know what you need to do. It’s just a great feeling” Armstead said.
“We always go to like have fun with each other and meet new people, play basketball and have competition," Justis Rideaux, a participant of the program, said.
“Speaking with some of the kids that have come through the program, now they’re parents, now they’re dropping their kids off," Texada said. "To see that and to see some of the kids now that are productive citizens, positive productive citizens and they come back and they say we appreciate you providing us this program. It’s just great to be able to provide a service for the community.”