The West

John Mogridge, Griffin Longley, Pete Branchi and Brad Robbins.

A program aiming to get at-risk youth off the streets and on to the basketball court was launched in Fremantle last night.

The Night Hoops initiative will have up to 72 young people from Fremantle and Cockburn sharing a meal and playing in a six-week tournament on Saturday nights.

Based on the highly successful Midnight Basketball program in Midland, Night Hoops will be a much-needed addition to diversion and engagement programs for youth in the area.

Committee members behind the program include Nature Play chief executive Griffin Longley and former Perth Wildcat Brad Robbins.

"The most important part of a program like this is that it connects the community," Mr Longley said.

"So people who would normally cross the road to avoid each other, get to know each other in an environment where they are all having fun and that has a flow-on effect outside the tournament and into the community."

John Mogridge has previously worked at the Midnight Basketball program.

He said he had seen firsthand the benefits of programs such as Night Hoops.

"It gives the kids something to do on the nights," Mr Mogridge said.

"They also have the opportunity to be a part of other workshops and it definitely makes a difference."

The West Australian

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