Basketball tradition at Indio High School brings Cops and kids together

Basketball tradition at Indio High School brings Cops and kids together

Martín Di Felice

A day following an officer being shot in Coachella, students at Indio High School had the opportunity to see law enforcement in a different light, on the basketball court.

"It’s always great for law enforcement to come out and show the community that you’re not just going to see us in a negative light,” Calipatria State Prison Correction Officer Waymond Fermon said. “We are positive, we are the good guys, we have your back, and your interactions with us should always be good because we are here to protect and serve. Keep the officer in your prayers and hoping for a speedy recovery.”

Cops verse kids. It’s a tradition that’s been going on for years at Indio High School.

"I think it started ever since I got here seventeen years ago and it brings the cops and the kids together,” Indio Athletic Director Ovivio Machado said. “It’s a very competitive game, everyone wants to win. It involves the entire school. It’s the end of the year. Everyone gets excited, the cops came out and were victorious but it was a great game."

"My players, they did a good job,” Ferman said. “They took care of these sophomores. As a sophomore, I played this game against the cops and we won and as a coach now, we won again. It was a a good time to come out and play with the kids."

Ferman graduated from Indio in 1998.

Boy or girl, athlete or non-athlete, all sophomores can sign up for the kid’s team and freshman are invited to watch for a specific reason.

"It’s younger kids and younger kids have to learn that culture of trust,” Machado explained. “Just making sure they’re trusting other people from the community. I think that if we start them at a younger age, it’s always good at this school because they’ll always remember this growing up."

"It’s awesome,” Indio sophomore Dakota Delatorre said. “It’s cool getting to play against the cops, you know it’s a once in a while thing. You only get to do it if you’re a sophomore and then the rest of your class is watching you, the freshman class, it’s just fun."