Hawks to be Joined by Mayor Bottoms, State Farm and UPS at 23rd Community Court Unveiling in Partnership with the Martin Luther King Recreation and Aquatic Center
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club have announced several events to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. over the holiday weekend named for the slain civil rights leader. Later this afternoon, Principal Owner Tony Ressler, CEO Steve Koonin, Head Coach Lloyd Pierce and Trae Young in partnership with State Farm and UPS, will team up with the City of Atlanta and Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms as they unveil the 23rd community court at Selena S. Butler Park located next to the Martin Luther King Recreation and Aquatic Center. On MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 21, the organization will provide a seminar for local youth and tickets to the game later that afternoon the team’s tipoff against the Orlando Magic at 3:30 p.m. in a special MLK tribute game.
To start the weekend, the Hawks will unveil their 23rd basketball court at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center in conjunction with the King family. This unique community court will honor Dr. King’s legacy and pay homage to the Hawks’ 50th Anniversary in Atlanta as the team’s first-ever black-and-gold design in the community. The organization has committed to build 25 courts throughout metro Atlanta by 2020.
On Monday morning, the team will host 30 Brown Middle School students from the College For Every Student (CFES) Brilliant Pathways Mentoring program at the Hawk’s Dream Day seminar. The students will participate in conversations and activities around Dr. King and his legacy of social activism and inclusion. In addition, these students will tour the new State Farm Arena, watch the pregame shoot-around with the team and receive complimentary tickets to enjoy the game. The CFES Brilliant Pathways Scholars have been a part of a unique mentoring partnership with Hawks employees since August 2017.
Mentors for the morning’s activities include Melissa Pierce, wife of Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, Scott Pioli, Assistant General Manager of the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery and Atlanta Hawks alum Roshown McLeod. Also participating in the event are various Hawks executives including Melissa Proctor, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, David Lee, Executive Vice President of External Affairs and Jon Babul, Vice President of Basketball Development.
“We are proud to continue our efforts in the community honoring Dr. King and his legacy,” Hawks’ Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion Andrea Carter said. “Dream Day will be an unforgettable moment for these hopeful future first-generation college students from Brown Middle School.”
The Hawks’ annual MLK Day game will open with the popular gospel-steeped, introductions of the starting line-up. This year’s introduction will be sung by the Contagious Choir of dReam Center Church of Atlanta led by RCA Inspiration artist Bishop William Murphy. RCA Inspiration artist, Koryn Hawthorne, will take center court to perform the national anthem and at halftime, a special musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. Koryn’s chart-topping single, Won’t He Do It, has put her in the history books with a record-breaking 41 weeks at #1 on the Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. Koryn is also well known for appearing as a top-four finalist season eight of NBC's The Voice. Hawthorne will also perform a postgame concert featuring songs from her #1 debut album Unstoppable.
Ambassador Andrew Young will be honored at the game as the team recognizes 50 Atlanta community icons to commemorate the Hawks’ 50th Anniversary season in Atlanta. Young, who formerly served as U.S. Ambassador United Nations and Mayor of Atlanta, was an integral part of the civil rights movement born in the south. He was a close collaborator with Dr. King and carries on his message of non-violent social change around the world 50 years after the Atlanta-born leader’s assassination.