NBA Cares Learn & Play Center at The Joe Celestin Center
As part of the 2013 NBA Finals, the NBA and the Miami HEAT opened a new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center at the Joe Celestin Center on Friday, June 7th. The Center was refurbished in partnership with State Farm and will provide North Miami youngsters with a safe place to play and resources to help them explore their academic interests. It will also serve to enhance the facility’s existing programming for local residents of all ages.
The opening of the new Center was kicked off by a press conference hosted by NBA TV Host Ahmad Rashad, which also included speaking points by HEAT player Shane Battier and President of Business Operations Eric Woolworth. The HEAT Group was also represented by Chief Executive Officer Nick Arison and Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael McCullough. Other HEAT players in attendance were Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem and Rashard Lewis. Also in attendance were HEAT Legends Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, who interacted and helped youngsters and families, cut the ribbon on their transformed space. NBA executives in attendance were Commissioner David Stern, NBA Cares Ambassador and Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, and WNBA Cares Ambassador Ruth Riley. Representatives from Miami-Dade County included the Honorable County Commissioner of District 2 Jean Monestime and City Manager of North Miami Stephen E. Johnson.
The new Center showcases a technology area outfitted with high-tech learning tools and a reading space stocked with new books, board games and gaming console. The Center also features new furnishings, fresh paint and HEAT themed decorations, including a HEAT inspired children’s graphic mural created by world renowned artist, David “LEBO” Le Batard. This will be the 810th Live, Learn, or Play space created by the NBA family and the 12th Learn & Play Center that the HEAT have created in South Florida.