TCSO hoops it up with area youth


Tulare County Sheriff’s Department launches Youth Services Development Unit to build trust through youth sports
PIXLEY – More than 80 boys and girls dribbled up and down basketball courts last Friday as part of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department’s inaugural two-day summer basketball camp. 

Eighty-three youth participated in the inaugural camp that also included Lindsay High School basketball coach Frank Morin. Photo courtesy of Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.

On behalf of Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, Captain Mark Gist opened the camp at Pixley Middle School. He told the 83 campers and their parents that the Sheriff’s Office wants to build upon their trust in law enforcement. 
“We, at the Sheriff’s Office want to continue to build bridges in our communities that will last a lifetime,” Grist said. “Hoop it up and have fun.”
Leading the camp is former Harlem Globetrotter Myree “Reemix” Bowden with help from Mission Oak Basketball Coach Mario Flores and his varsity players. Also on staff are basketball players from California colleges, Lindsay High School Basketball Coach Frank Morin and David Morehead from Pixley Middle School. Deputies were also on hand to help out. 
“We want kids to be part of a team and to be part of our community,” he said. 
Earlier this week, TCSO partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias for a summer basketball league. Many of the youth at the basketball camp are also participating in the 5-week long basketball league.  
Offering youth sports is a new endeavor for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. In the spring, TCSO had a successful NFL Flag Football League that involved 250 boys and girls at Ivanhoe Elementary School. From that program, Sheriff Boudreaux formed a new Youth Services Development Unit headed by Lt. Harold Liles. Captain Mark Gist thanked Pixley Middle School for the use of its gymnasium and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association for helping sponsor the camp.