Durham's Police Athletic League hosts 'Final Four'

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Durham Police Athletic League (WTVD)

On the day Carolina takes on Syracuse in Houston, another Final Four happened inside the Durham Southern High School gymnasium.

ABC11 cameras rolled as coed teams of young hoopsters representing Merrick Moore and Fayetteville Street elementary schools played a spirited, fast-paced game.

They're two of the best teams in Durham's Police Athletic League squad. Officer John Suitt, a proud father whose daughter helped work the concession stand with two other members of the police department, told us where the city's six year old PAL gets its talent.

"Seventeen different schools," said Suitt. "All schools participate in a seven week series, and then we end up with this Final Four."

Enthusiastic friends and relatives filled the stands and outside the gym. We met Martha Mole, a player's grandmother who drove up from Fayetteville to cheer him on. When we asked her what position her grandson played, she responded lightheartedly.

"I have no idea," Mole replied, laughing. "I just come to see him play!"

Officer Suitt told us when it's not so soggy outside, the PAL squad participates in other activities.

"We do soccer, we do basketball, and we do baseball with Durham Bulls Athletic League."

Warm weather brings more opportunities for healthy competition, he added.

"The summer league will start in June. That's summer league basketball, it's actually for high school kids aged 14 through 18."

Durham police officers referee the games, provide team jerseys, and volunteer to help out. Check with your city or town's police or recreation department to see if there's a similar program up and running near you.

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