Shoes, socks, bags: CPA girls’ basketball team surprised by St. Louis Police officers
Shoes, socks, bags: CPA girls’ basketball team surprised by St. Louis Police officers
Posted on 12/19/2014
Titan logoIt’s impressive how an idea can become a generous gift in only two days.

shoesOn Wednesday, Officer James Binder of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shared an idea with his colleagues. They were working a girls’ basketball game at Confluence Preparatory Academy. Binder’s idea was to get basketball shoes, socks and bags for the team.

“I’ve watched the girls play. I see how hard they work and their effort, so I brought up the idea,” said Binder.

In no time, approximately 13 officers donated $650. They talked to the team’s coaches – Ava Smith and Rita Adams – to get shoe sizes and names.

On Friday morning, the last day of school before winter break, the girls were called out of class to meet in the cafeteria. Moments later, after remarks from the principal, Mike Powers, and the police department, each girl was called up to get her gift.

The team has eight girls – Avery Jones , Chayla Thomas and Jermeisha Willis, freshmen; Ginger Byrd, Beyonce Shaw and Jayla Young, juniors; Aska Arnold and Alexis Webster, seniors.

CPA girls bb team

They were all surprised and a little shocked.

“It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” said Arnold. “It’s the best and most supportive thing that’s happened to me.”

“It was surprising,” said Webster. “I’m thankful for what they’ve given to us and for the time they took to do this for us.”

Jones echoed their sentiments. “It was a great surprise. I’m grateful for what they’ve done.”

Smith, who teaches English, was moved by the care and support for the team. “I’ve coached the team for three years and this is the first time that someone has given them something. We try to do everything for them ourselves. We are very thankful, overwhelmed and blessed.”

Adams, a special education teacher, feels it’s a blessing, too. “We don’t get a lot for the girls. They don’t have the support and following that the boys do. We are very thankful.”

Officer Latoya Draggs, who works at CPA, said those who donated either work the basketball games, work at CPA as security or work for Special Services. Donors include Sgt. Ja-Mes Davis, Sgt. Marvis Moody, officers Shamantha Edwards, Tracy Cole, Jason Stevenson, Richard Booker, Willie Haymore, Michael Butler, John Stevens, Draggs and Binder.