Press Release: L.A. Clippers And Mayor Garcetti Celebrate The Opening Of The First Clippers Community Court

Renovations were made possible by a major gift from the L.A. Clippers and Steve and Connie Ballmer
by Clippers Digital

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. Clippers today celebrated the opening of the first Clippers Community Court — a project to renovate nearly 350 public basketball courts across the City over the next three years. The project was made possible by a generous donation to the Department of Recreation and Parks Foundation from the L.A. Clippers and Steve and Connie Ballmer.

Mayor Garcetti was joined by Clippers President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker, Clippers guard Lou Williams, Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Department of Recreation and Parks General Manager Michael Shull, and more than 50 young basketball players at the ribbon-cutting event at Normandie Recreation Center, which unveiled three renovated courts.

“These courts are more than just a place for our children to stay active and experience the thrill of sports — they mark a major step forward in our work to expand access to youth sports in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This transformative gift from the Ballmers and Clippers is helping countless young Angelenos in every zip code to develop their talents on and off the court.”

In April of this year, Mayor Garcetti and First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland joined the Ballmers to announce plans to overhaul nearly 350 courts by the end of 2021. Renovations are now underway at 112 courts across the City — with the remainder on track to be completed on schedule.

"We are beyond grateful to the Clippers for investing in our youth,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “The Jr. Clippers program started at Normandie Recreation Center 18 years ago. The Clippers Community Courts program is a sign of the Clippers' commitment to Los Angeles. We are happy to continue our partnership into the future."

Mayor Garcetti led the successful effort to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to Los Angeles in 2028. In advance of the Games, LA 2028 will invest up to $160 million in youth sports programming in the City of Los Angeles over the next 10 years. The Ballmers’ and Clippers’ gift will build on the City's momentum toward creating even more access to sports for children across Los Angeles. Along with the targeted resources and expanded female mentorship that Mayor Garcetti’s Girls Play L.A. (GPLA) initiative provides, the new courts are expected to help the program continue to increase female participation rates.

“I grew up playing basketball wherever I could, and it’s because of courts just like this one that I’m standing up here as an NBA player,” said Lou Williams. “I’m grateful to play for a team with leadership that cares about the community, and to play in a city like L.A. where the community and its leaders support the team in return.”

“We’re thrilled to open the very first Clippers Community Courts in partnership with Mayor Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles,” said Gillian Zucker. “The Clippers Community Courts will give all L.A. kids the ability to play youth sports and take advantage of its benefits. Many of our players started on courts just like these, and we’re proud to inspire and enable the next generation of Lou Williams and Luc Mbah a Moutes”

At today’s ribbon-cutting, the Clippers conducted a youth basketball clinic for children from the Jr. Clippers and GPLA programs. The Jr. Clippers program has grown to over 100,000 participants since its start at Normandie Recreation Center 18 years ago — making it one of the largest youth programs in the NBA. All children in attendance also received backpacks full of school supplies, courtesy of the L.A. Clippers Foundation.