Warriors Community Foundation and PG&E Refurbish Oakland's San Antonio Park and Rename as the Sarunas Marciulionis Basketball Courts
On Monday, August 4, the Warriors Community Foundation, PG&E and the Good Tidings Foundation joined Oakland city officials and over 90 Oakland youth to honor former Warriors player Sarunas Marciulionis and unveil the newly refurbished basketball courts at Oakland’s San Antonio Park they donated in his honor. Marciulionis, who will be inducted into the 2014 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August 8, was honored by the court dedication and excited for the boys and girls who have the chance to enjoy the new courts.
“This is a beautiful court and it is proof that people can do great things,” said Marciulionis. “The Golden State Warriors, PG&E and the city can do great things for the young generation to play basketball and commit to sports.”
Marciulionis, the European Player of the Year who led the Soviet Union to the gold medal in 1988, is active with youth groups in his home country of Lithuania and dedicated to improving the quality of life for children in communities throughout the world.
“The courts I grew up playing on were much worse than this one before it was renovated, so courts like this show we must have the initiative to improve our community, respect it and commit to its development with leadership and dedication,” said Marciulionis.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Council President Pat Kernighan attended the court unveiling ceremony Monday and shared their excitement for the children who will benefit from the updated surfaces and improved safety conditions in the park.
“There are not a lot of recreational opportunities in this area, and this basketball court was falling apart, so for the Warriors Community Foundation, PG&E and the Good Tidings Foundation to come here and build a beautiful court for these local children to enjoy means the world to them,” said Kernighan.
The new Sarunas Marciulionis Court at San Antonio Park features a refurbished surface, new backboards and rims and permanent signage.
“It is one our key focus areas to support the vitality of the neighborhoods where we live and work, and we couldn’t be more proud to play a part in this project,” said PG&E Chief Sustainability Officer Ezra Garrett.
After a group photo and ceremonial tip-off, the 90 boys and girls with Oakland Recreation and Parks department and the Oakland Police Activities League warmed up and broke into groups to work on their basketball skills with Warriors Youth Basketball staff. The 7-12 year old boys and girls laughed, played and enjoyed their time on the brand new courts.
“A new court like this shows our young people that we as a community care about them,” said Oakland Police Activities League President Margaret Dixon. “For PG&E and the Warriors to take time out and dedicate this court and invest in these children and their future is what makes a true impact.” This represents nearly 50 court refurbishment that the Warriors and the Good Tidings Foundation have teamed up on since 1999, helping to beautify and improve local neighborhoods and communities.
“Having good quality outdoor spaces for kids to play are absolutely critical for neighborhoods such as San Antonio Park, and so a big thanks go to the Warriors for their generosity and partnering with us in recent years to revitalize several Oakland facilities,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
Earlier this summer, the Warriors Community Foundation, PG&E and the Good Tidings Foundation refurbished the Columbia Park Clubhouse court in the Mission District and held an unveiling ceremony for youth from Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco.