Ala. cop who replaced kids' worn-out basketball net gets 'shopping spree' to keep giving back

"It’s nothing compared to what officers do every day. I ain’t no hero," Officer Chris Lassinger said

By Carol Robinson
Alabama Media Group

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A Birmingham police officer captured earlier this month on cell phone video replacing a tattered basketball net in a West End neighborhood he patrols will be able to continue to spread the joy, and toys.

Academy Sports and Outdoors in Hoover on Tuesday presented West Precinct Officer Chris Lassinger with a $500 shopping spree after reading about his good deeds earlier this month. “That we he can continue to give back to the Birmingham community,’’ said Nicole Burns, operations manager at the Hoover store. “We support all his selfless acts.“

“I know he says it’s small, but I don’t feel like it’s small to those kids,’’ Burns said. “I think it’s pretty great of him.”

A couple of weeks ago, Lassinger captured hearts across social media after Birmingham resident Rhaquel Ryans posted to Facebook the video of him standing on the bumper of his police cruiser, hanging the new net on the goal which was in the 800 block of 23rd Street S.W. “We have great officers. He not only put up a new net but also got them a new ball as well. Now make this go viral,” Ryans posted.

Lassinger, who has been on the force two years, said he often plays basketball with the kids in the neighborhood. He was recently at Academy Sports buying new boots when he spontaneously decided to get them a new net and a basketball.

He said he certainly didn’t want any attention for the good deed and was shocked that the video has garnered so much attention. "I should have done it at night,'' he said with a laugh. “I think it’s crazy that something so small is getting so much attention.”

"It’s nothing compared to what officers do every day,'' he said. “It was $35. I’ve seen officers spend hundreds. I ain’t no hero.”

Amid all the attention that followed, Lassinger said The Basketball Cop Foundation in Florida - a nonprofit with a mission to connect law enforcement agencies across the country with the kids in their communities – sent him some balls and new basketball goal to distribute on his beat.

Then, on Tuesday, he received the Academy gift car and did some shopping.

“It means a lot. I just plan on giving back more,’’ Lassinger said. “Whatever I get, it’s just more I can give. Anything will be a blessing to someone else.”

Again, he emphasized that he doesn’t believe he did anything special.

“It happens every day. This is not a big deal. It’s not something I should be praised for. Everybody does it, not just in Birmingham but in other cities,’’ he said. “It might not be getting on a bumper and putting up a net, but

it’s buying a hotel room for somebody who is homeless, buying food, buying clothes, and paying power bills. Nobody sees any of that. It’s done constantly with no recognition.”

“We get in this profession for a reason, to help people,’’ he said. “If me doing stuff like that changes those kids’ mindsets about police then I’m doing my job. The more people we can affect in a positive way like that, the better it will be for us and them.”

Birmingham police officer's random acts of kindness spreads throughout the community

A Birmingham police officer's simple act of kindness is spreading throughout the community quickly. Officer Christopher Lassinger with West Precinct plays basketball with children in the neighborhood during his downtime. When he noticed their net was tattered, Lassinger took action. He went and bought the children a new net and basketball. He says it's a small deed compared to actions of his fellow officers.

Posted by Fred Davenport WVTM 13 News on Friday, November 2, 2018


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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