Better Together: Local athletes and basketball academy speak up for equality

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Darting Basketball Academy teamed up with some of the best high school basketball players in Topeka to start a campaign to fight for racial equality.

The campaign is called “Better Together” and they hope it’ll bring change in our community and encourage people to have the “tough, but necessary” conversations on race.”

More than ever, athletes are making their voices heard. These young adults may just want to hoop, but they know they have a responsibility to fight for change

“As a young black male I had to speak out just to make sure that everybody knows that my life is equal to everybody else’s,” Highland Park senior CJ Powell said.

“I think it’s an opportunity to do what is right and speak out against racism, social injustice,” Topeka High junior Tae Thomas said.

To go along with the darting basketball academy’s new better together movement, some of the best high school basketball players in our area lent their voices to shine a light on racial injustice.

A five dollar donation gets you a wristband and helps fund the academy’s youth foundation. It’s a chance to make this community — and beyond — a more unified place

“I think it’s important to show the young guys that are around our program and have positive reinforcement and speak out against racism,” Washburn Rural senior Joe Berry said.

Using familiar faces to spread this message to the kids in this area can really drive the point home

“I mean if you look in the community, those guys are the ones everyone is looking up to. That’s what our young kids, we’ve got kids in here as young as third grade all the way up to seniors in high school. All those young kids know who CJ Powell is, they know who Tae Thomas is, they know who Joe Berry is,” Darting Basketball Academy owner Kerry Darting said.

Coming up in a place as diverse as this among a generation embedding themselves in change, all the athletes involved have a chance to make a true difference.

“I’ve had many talks with little kids about certain things and certain questions and I’m always happy to help and happy to educate others,” said Thomas.

To learn more about the organization or donate to the cause, follow this link.

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