Warren PAL helps high school hoops champs place ring order

By: Gena Johnson | Warren Weekly | Published June 17, 2024

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WARREN — We could all use a little help from our friends or, in this case, a PAL.

The Warren Police Athletic League recently donated $2,000 to the Lincoln High School 2024 boys varsity basketball team to help purchase championship rings after the team won the Division 2 state championship for the first time in the history of any public school in Warren.

“This is community policing at its finest,” stated Warren Police Commissioner Charles Rushton in a written release. “The School Resource Officers recognized a need in the community and knew that Warren PAL could help. Our SROs and PAL officers have established great working relationships with Lincoln High School and the other districts in the community. These officers play many different roles in helping students. This is yet another example of the police and community uniting for the common good.”

The players were excited about their success in winning the state championship; however, purchasing championship rings was not in the school district’s budget.

“I work with a Warren police officer and told him what we were trying to do,” said head coach Wydell Henry. “And he (the officer) said, ‘I would reach out and see,’ and the next thing I know, it was done.”

Lincoln’s resource officer and lead coordinator for PAL, Deandre Tucker, who also graduated from Lincoln, presented Henry with a $2,000 check to place the order for the championship rings.

The team is expected to receive the 18 rings at the end of June, one for each of the 13 players and one for each of the five coaches, according to Henry.

“It (the rings) is something they (the players) can show they worked hard for and that can never be taken from them,” Henry said. “They have it for the rest of their lives. Something they can show their kids that they made history being the first public school in Warren to win a state championship.”

Warren Mayor Lori Stone echoed the sentiments of gratitude to the Warren Police Department.

“I am grateful for the generosity of PAL for recognizing the accomplishment of kids in our community,” Stone said in a written release.

Stone was a career educator and spent 14 years in the Fitzgerald Public Schools district before going into politics. From this experience, she knows the work, drive and determination of a student athlete and how this has a wide impact on their lives, she said. The mayor gave the championship team a reception in City Hall in recognition of their accomplishment and it not only impacted them as individuals but also the community at large.

“This victory promotes a sense of pride for classmates, families, the school district, and the community as a whole. The fact that the School Resource Officers stepped up to find the resources to ensure these student athletes receive this symbol to remember their accomplishments is a testimony to the value of relationships that are forged within a community,” stated Stone in the release.

Henry has four seniors on the team who will soon be off to college. His plans for next basketball season: “To win it again,” he said.

According to Warren police, the $2,000 was enough money to place the order for the rings but more money is needed to pay for the rings in full. A GoFundMe account was established. To make donations visit, https://gofund.me/b30c164b.