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Our Story

Founded in 1991, The No Books No Ball Basketball (NBNB) Program was developed by Anthony (Tony) Richards, Sr., a Dorchester native who wanted to provide boys and girls between the ages of six and seventeen, the opportunity to learn the game of basketball along with important life-lessons on sportsmanship and academic achievement. For thirty-two years, NBNB has been committed to increasing the high school graduation rate of children from some of Boston’s toughest and underserved neighborhoods.

Richards uses basketball to connect with young people about the importance of education and developing strong study skills. He also encourages student athletes to strive for academic excellence and to use basketball as a pathway to private high schools, colleges, and universities in pursuit of the American dream. Hundreds of NBNB alumni have received athletic scholarships to elite programs that have later positioned them for competitive jobs within the workforce. The program proudly serves 1,000+ youth and families annually through our various programming.

Based in Roxbury, the No Books No Ball Basketball Program operates as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The tax identification number is 57-1138250. The NBNB Basketball Program has over 32 years of experience teaching and mentoring young athletes from the City of Boston and surrounding communities. Since the inception of NBNB, the program has served boys and girls within three divisions: Pee Wee (6-9 years old); Junior (10-13 years old); and Youth (14-17 years old). Most of the students also play basketball for their respective schools.

Our Core Values




Be Creative


Keep an Open Mind


Accept Responsibility


Have Concern for Others


Led by Richards, the coaching staff is comprised of approximately 50 men and women who are former program participants; former college athletes; former pro and semi-pro athletes; and community leaders who provide mentorship and serve as role models to the current participants.

Some members of the coaching staff work full-time in local schools, neighborhood recreational centers, and youth programs.

Other members work professionally as managers in the private sectors or worker in the service industry and the building trades. Many on staff approach the work with love and years of parenting experience; and everyone on staff brings a life-long affiliation with the game of basketball.

Michael James
Board President

Vance Mills

Bessie Gaul

Rodney Thurmond

John Turner

Tony Richards, Sr.
Founder and Executive Director

Thank you to our sponsors

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for the Miami Hurricanes and was selected 42nd overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2018 NBA draft. He has also played for the Brooklyn Nets. He is a Bostonian and former student of the No Books No Ball Program and names Tony as a mentor.