C's, Shamrock Foundation Renovate YMCA
LYNN – For decades, the Lynn YMCA has been a community staple in this small city outside of Boston. From sports leagues to after school programs, the YMCA has a positive impact on the countless number of youth who pass through its doors.
Serving over 600 youth daily, the basketball court in particular is a popular place for kids to convene to play the sport and to participate in various physical education and wellness programs. On Wednesday, the Lynn YMCA unveiled a new court and gym completely refurbished and renovated thanks to the 2011-2012 Boston Celtics team and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation (BCSF) and Good Sports.
Every year the full Celtics team has the opportunity to decide on how a $50,000 grant from the BCSF will be invested in the community. For the 2011-2012 season the team voted to renovate two basketball courts that were in dire need of an update. Their vote came to life Wednesday as players Brandon Bass, Jason Collins, Kris Joseph, Boston Celtics mascot Lucky and Boston Celtics President Rich Gotham were on hand to introduce the new gym to the youth of the Lynn YMCA.
“This was the first major renovation to the gym since it was built 40 years ago,” said Bass. “There were dead spots on the floor, the paint was peeling and the divider had holes in it. The gym looks totally different now and I hope the kids enjoy it. I grew up playing basketball at my YMCA back home and I know how important it is to have a nice, up-to-date space to play the game.”
The gym floor was completely refurbished with new flooring, finish and paint, the walls sported custom Celtics graphics and new mats and a brand new green divider was installed to help maximize the use of the gym for the various programs it hosts.
When the youth walked into the gym for the first time, kids were screaming with excitement, jumping up and down and eager to play on the new court. But before they could take to the court, the kids got to hear from Gotham and their favorite Celtics players about the importance of healthy living, determination and teamwork – something the new gym space could offer the kids at the Lynn YMCA.
“We’re so happy to be here today,” said Gotham. “This is the second year of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation grant in which our players get to choose a community project. They were really excited to have the opportunity to renovate this court. They love the sport of basketball and want every kid to have a wonderful gym to play in. Today you all have received this great space and I hope you enjoy it!”
Following Gotham’s remarks, players spoke to the youth about how they were able to reach their dreams and play in the NBA.
“It took a lot of hard work and dedication to reach my goal of playing in the NBA,” said veteran Collins. “I encourage all of you to set goals and wake up every day trying to reach them.”
Joseph, a rookie, talked about joining a team full of future Hall of Famers.
“First and foremost, I’m very fortunate to be here,” said Joseph. “To be able to learn from great players has been very helpful especially since it isn’t an easy transition from college to the NBA. What I’m most excited about is being able to come out into the community and meet kids like you.”
After the question and answer portion of the event, the players and Gotham presented the Lynn YMCA with a banner similar to the Celtics championship banners to commemorate the event. With the unveiling event coming to a close, the players said their goodbyes to the youth screamed chants of as “Celtics” as they departed. As soon as the players walked out of the door, the kids sprinted onto the court and immediately started to enjoy their new gym.