NASSA and the Metropolitan Police
United on the Basketball Court

RIVALRY on the basketball court mixed with friendship and collaboration off it as Newham All Star Sports Academy celebrated 15 years of partnership work with the Metropolitan Police in a special basketball game at the University of East London’s SportsDock facility.

The NASSA v Met Police game was held in front of over 100 invited guests. It was preceded by a minute’s silence and the shooting of basketball hoops to remember each of the young people who have died in the London Borough of Newham as a direct result of knife crime in the past two years.

Together, NASSA and the Metropolitan Police have educated over 100,000 young people across east London on the dangers of knife crime and gang activity through NASSA’s award-winning Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) initiative.

Newham Borough Commander Simon Crick led a team of serving officers against a team of NASSA young people, all of whose lives have been affected by knife crime and all of whom have been guided by CABNAB talks.

The NASSA team was led by Anthony Okereafor, who established CABNAB through NASSA after two of his closest friends died in stabbing incidents within weeks of each other in 2008.

While the NASSA team ran out 77-22 winners, the scoreline was secondary to the spirit of friendship and respect shown by both teams.

NASSA Chief Executive, Natasha Hart MBE, said:

“NASSA is grateful to the Met Police for the 15 years of support they have given us in our CABNAB campaign.

“We thank Newham Borough Commander Simon Crick for bringing along a Met Police to participate in this game and for making it such a memorable and momentous occasion.

“Knife crime is such a terrible scourge on London life. It affects everyone, not just the victims, but their families and friends. It also affects the lives of the perpetrators, too.

“Every member of the NASSA team in this special game has been directly affected by knife crime and felt its consequences.

“CABNAB has always been about educating young people, making them aware of the consequences, not just of using a knife, but of simply carrying one, too.”