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Stories about kids, guns and how to stop the violence. Precious Lives, created by 371 Productions, is a 2-year, 100-part weekly radio series about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. The series applies a public health lens to each story to help listeners understand the full scope of the problem: who are the victims and the shooters; how are the weapons obtained; and what can we change about the environment that contributes to violence in Milwaukee?

#089 Precious Lives: The 'Fighting' Team Copes With a Teammate's Death

Calvin Mattheis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
13-year-old Kyhli Maxey is learning how to cope with the loss of his good friend Giovonnie Cameron - on the court.

Precious Lives picks up where it left off last week with Coach Eric Moore. He coaches in a summer basketball league called Warning Project Respect. And he’s earned himself a reputation throughout the league as the “crying coach.”

Credit Calvin Mattheis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
14-year-old Da'Breion Ferguson Toombs plays basketball for his close friend Giovonnie Cameron who was shot and killed in July 2015.

Coach held in his tears after years after his best friend and basketball teammate John Wess was killed back when they were teenagers. That trauma had major consequences on Coach - there was prison time, suicidal thoughts and more violence. But, he was able to turn things around.

LISTEN: Precious Lives: The Crying Coach

Now he’s trying to help his 13- and 14-year-old players let their emotions out in a healthy way because last year they lost a teammate - 13-year-old Giovonnie Cameron.

And while Coach Moore is known as the crying coach... his players are known as “the the fighting team.”

Corresponding Content: 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Precious Lives: Team comes back for new season after loss of teammate

The Warning league is run by Running Rebels. If you want to learn how to contribute to the league, contact Donta Holmes at or 414-264-8222.

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