Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Broome County Stop DWI teamed up with law enforcement to bring an important message to young people. What might look like a game of hoops raised awareness for drinking and driving.
As part of the 22nd annual Stop DWI Holiday Classic, basketball teams from across the country will take to the court at the Memorial Arena.
Although that's been the tradition for decades, Friday was the first time for a memorial basketball game among law enforcement officers. They played in memory of Aldo Rossi, a Port Dickinson police officer struck and killed by a drunk driver in 2008.
More than basketball however, was the message. Jonathan Mueller, 33, addressed the crowd Friday night. He's suffers from memory loss, speech, and physical impediments. His brain damage came 15 years ago when he was hit by a drunk driver.
"Kids don't have the right frame of mind and I want them to know that there are risks with drinking and driving," Mueller said. "It's not cool."
Mueller gives motivational speeches across the state. His father, John Sr. accompanies him.
"He's my hero," Mueller Sr. said," and I don't have many heroes."
Jonathan said he was driving to get Chinese food that night in 1998. He was hit head on by a drunk driver. The memorial basketball game will now be a part of the Holiday Classic every year.
Friday night also featured a slam dunk and 3-point contest for student athletes. The Holiday Classic runs through Monday.