Miami HEAT and NBA Dedicate NBA Cares Learn & Play Center
On June 7, 2013, the Miami HEAT joined the NBA to unveil the newest Miami HEAT Learn & Play Center at the Joe Celestin Center in North Miami.
HEAT players Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem, and Rashard Lewis along with NBA Commissioner David Stern, The HEAT Group CEO Nick Arison, and other NBA and HEAT executives and representatives from the City of North Miami were on hand to cut the ribbon on the transformed space. “It’s a pleasure to see what we can do,” said Stern, “Looking at all these kids, I’m thinking about the fact that basketball can focus attention on important values like exercise, fitness, good health, and also the broader values of our game: discipline, teamwork, hard work, and character.”
The Center is now outfitted with high-tech learning tools, a reading space, new books, board games, and gaming consoles. The Center, presented by HP and State Farm, 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.
“With these new resources and the support of our community, we will have a safe place to work to achieve our goals and dreams,” said Allexii Bassette, one of the children benefiting from the new Learn & Play Center.
The new Learn & Play center provides children in North Miami with a safe place to play and resources to help them explore their academic interests. It also serves to enhance the facility’s existing programming for local residents of all ages. “This is for you,” said Miami HEAT forward Shane Battier. “Look around, what a beautiful space! There are kids around the world who would love to have a place to learn and play like this. So it is our hope that you make this your home away from home.”
The unveiling of this Learn & Play Center is the latest activity from the Miami HEAT under the “NBA Cares” initiative. It marks the 810th live, learn, or play space created by the NBA family and the 12th Learn & Play Center that the HEAT has created in South Florida.