BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A Boynton Beach basketball team is celebrating a championship where the biggest assist happened off the court.
The teens teamed up with police for a partnership that goes well beyond sports, but this team coming together was never a slam dunk.
The team, called the Boynton Ballers, was a vision of Bill Tome.
His mission has been simple: provide an outlet for kids to be kids and not worry about violence or what may be going on outside of the gym.
Boynton Beach police officers serve as coaches and as mentors.
"The kids are not in the streets now. They are actually here in the gym playing basketball,” said mentor and coach Joe Matthews.
The team has never looked back, now playing basketball at a championship level..
A team of 10 All Stars, some who had never boarded a flight, just returned home from New York City. They ended their season with a tournament championship, and a game plan for the future.
“These kids that played on the All-Star team, they are all going to college now ... we are making memories. These kids will remember these games. This tournament forever,” said Tome.
"Find something that you love doing that's not going to get you in trouble, and you can go a long way with that, especially if you find friends who you can share that with,” said Jean Saint Louis, a member of the Boynton Ballers.