The Lafayette Police Department is raising proceeds for the family of one of their fallen officers, Corporal Michael Middlebrook.
On Saturday, they hosted the 2nd Annual Lafayette First Responders Basketball Tournament.
Lafayette police officer Kendall Sam is one of the main organizers of the event.
"Unfortunately, we lost Corporal Michael Middlebrook in the line of duty last October to a tragic incident. So, you know, I thought this would a good time to still rally behind the family and his wife and kids with the continuous support of the community and, of course, the department to let them know that we still stand behind them and that we’re rallying behind them one hundred percent," explained Sam.
The Lafayette Fire Department, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Police Department, and Lafayette Christian Academy coaches and staff all played against each other as teams.
And, the widow of Corporal Middlebrook knows her husband would have been so happy to see all of the agencies out on the court, rallying for both her family and for the cause of first responders.
"He was a loving, caring, compassionate person that really cared about the community. I mean, he would help out whoever he could. He’d give back in any kind of way, not even expecting anything. That was the type of person he was," said Adrienne Middlebrook.
Lafayette firefighter Bralyn Maiden played basketball all through high school and has been playing ever since. It shows on the court.
"That’s apart of me keeping my cardio up. He [Chief Robert Benoit] preaches working out and getting cardio in, so when you’re running in the fire, you won’t get tired. So, basketball is just a way to keep your cardio up," said Maiden.
Admission, concessions, and t-shirt sales all went to Corporal Middlebrook’s family.
"I just thought it was a good opportunity to interact with officers as we put on a different type of uniform. You know, where we’re just out here having fun and being human, and just let the public know that we are still human and that we like to have fun outside of the duties of our jobs," said Sam.