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DETROIT (AP) — Participants in a mentoring program started by professional basketball Hall-of-Famer and former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing are graduating from high school.

An invitation-only reception is scheduled Thursday evening for the 18 young men in Bing’s Boys Inspired through Nurturing, Growth & Opportunities initiative — BINGO. They started the program in 2014 as 9th graders.

Bing says most of the graduates plan to attend 4-year universities, community colleges or skilled-trades schools. He says many “never thought that college was an option for them.”

BINGO is part of the Bing Youth Institute which supports programs and activities designed to improve the academic, behavioral and social wellness of young men of color.

Bing was mayor from 2009 through 2013. He spent nine of his 12 NBA seasons with the Detroit Pistons.