Four children from Madison whose basketball hoop was destroyed during Tropical Storm Isaias weren't sure they'd ever get another one.
But Madison police, as they often do, came to the rescue.
Officers surprised the family with a brand-new, portable basketball hoop Monday afternoon.
Complete with a 50-inch steel-frame and shatterproof backboard, the hoop was presented to the family by Morris County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Phil Masi and Madison Borough Police Officer Kyle McDermott.
Officers noticed prior to the storm that the family’s old basketball hoop had been set up at Sunset Place and served as a meeting spot for other children in the neighborhood.
They decided to take action by offering to replace it when they noticed that it had been destroyed in the storm.
Masi said he didn't think twice about buying the hoop from Dick’s Sporting Goods to gift to the family.
“This is so cool, so nice,” said the mother of three sons and a daughter between ages 15 and 21. “It’s such a moving gesture. Especially now, it makes this time more bearable.”
“I just think this is really cool. It’s a really nice surprise,” the grinning 15-year-old said.
Gannon called the gesture a simple act of “neighbors helping neighbors.”
“This is simply about neighbors helping neighbors. It really is,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of these guys and what they represent. This is what I know police work to be. I started out walking a beat almost 40 years ago. That’s what they’re doing, being out in the community, being guardians of the people.”
“It’s sort of breathtaking when something like this happens. It’s more than a basketball game.”
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