District native and former NFL player Josh Morgan has hosted celebrity basketball games before. But this year’s game – which is scheduled for Saturday at Coolidge High School in Northwest – is different.
"Gun violence has been a huge part of my life all of my life," Morgan told FOX 5 on Friday.
For him, the issue is personal. Morgan said he lost five childhood friends to gun violence.
"Two of them didn’t even get to graduate high school because they got killed before high school," he said.
Morgan was also at Virginia Tech when a fellow student fatally shot 32 people in 2007.
"Virginia tech, it was hard, because I finally was at a point where I thought I escaped it," he recalled.
Morgan’s mom also survived the 2013 Navy Yard mass shooting when a gunman killed 12 people.
He hopes this weekend’s game is part of the solution – by making gun violence the focus, influencing the kids, and supporting the parents. Morgan has also spent the week in different D.C. schools spreading the word.
"One of my questions to all the kids was basically, raise your hand if you have experienced gun violence if you know somebody that has been shot, if you’ve been shot or shot at," he explained. "And every time, it’s maybe one or two people with their hand down out of at least 30-plus people."
The basketball game is free to attend. For more information, you can click here.