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N.S. community basketball program targeted by thieves, racial graffiti

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A shattered window on the outside door greeted players and parents as they arrived for basketball in Glace Bay, N.S., on Saturday.

The damage inside, though, was much worse.

“The biggest damage was kicked holes in doors, a small fire was tried to be set in our office, and we had some graffiti and racial slurs throughout the window,” said Tyrone Levingston, co-owner of PUSH Basketball Cape Breton.

Levingston said six or seven youths were caught on camera inside the building and police were notified once the alarm was triggered.

“I’m originally from Detroit and I’ve dealt with this type of behaviour throughout my entire life and that’s actually giving me more fuel and more motivation to do what I do,” said Levingston

Heat pumps and security cameras were also damaged and the cost is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars.

The program is not just about basketball. The goal is to inspire youths between the ages of four to 18 to learn and grow people, both on and off the court.

“We would hate the thought of losing this facility. We've been active in this for a little more than a year,” said Parker Murray, a parent

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the basketball program recover costs.

The vandalism has not only set them back financially but also emotionally, as it goes against everything they stand for.

“Tyrone has brought so much positivity to this community. We love everything he stands for and how he teaches these kids, not just in basketball, but life itself and how to be teammates and better members of the community,” said Murray

Levingston said although the vandalism is disheartening, he's approaching it as a cry for help and is welcoming the youths involved to come and meet with him.

“We will figure out a way for them to help and repay the damages they caused and be a part of something they can be proud of,” he said.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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