INDIANAPOLIS – The NBA All-Star 2021 Host Committee has awarded 21 organizations with an All-Star Legacy Grant, the $1 million initiative focused on youth-serving nonprofit organizations across Indiana. In connection with NBA All-Star 2021 in Indianapolis next February, the initiative provides grants up to $50,000 for each of the selected 21 brick-and- mortar projects focused on health and wellness or education. The 21 projects will impact an estimated 90,000 youth statewide.
The NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Committee was tasked to create a meaningful grant opportunity to leave a legacy long after the game is played. The Committee, led by NBA All-Star 2021 Host Committee Board Co-Chairs Tamika Catchings and Rafael Sanchez, launched the initiative in October 2019.
The 21 grantees, representing 18 counties, were chosen from 182 applicants from across Indiana.
"We had an overwhelmingly positive response statewide to the grant applications," said Rick Fuson, Founding Chairman, All-Star Board of Directors and President and Chief Operating Officer, Pacers Sports & Entertainment. "Narrowing the list to 21 grant recipients involved considerable review and discussion by our Legacy Committee. They had to make tough choices amongst a pool of incredibly strong and impactful grant requests."
Factors closely examined included clear project objectives, funding and budget information, identified partners, number of people served and a demonstrated need. The committee worked to identify 21 grantees who represent diversity of audience served, project type, and geographic range. Many of the grantees also have secured matching funds which will further the impact of their project. The 21 projects will be constructed and completed before the tip of NBA All-Star 2021.
"As we look forward to our 70th NBA All-Star Game in 2021, there is no better way to recognize this milestone than through the legacy initiative," Todd Jacobson, NBA Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility, added. "We look forward to celebrating the work these 21 organizations do each day to help make communities across Indiana stronger."
"Basketball is a part of the DNA of Indiana, serving as a common language for residents of all ages and backgrounds. These 21 legacy projects showcase our community's commitment to future generations while also celebrating the history and heritage of basketball in our state leading up to NBA All-Star 2021," said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. "Through this million- dollar investment in youth-serving organizations, we are leveraging our role as the host of this world class event and putting into action the sentiment that 'we grow basketball here.'"
Next, the Legacy Grantees will nominate three high school-aged Rising Stars for their project who are members of the class of 2021. From these nominees, the Legacy Committee will select 21 Rising Stars, one per project, who will serve as honorary chairs for their respective Legacy Grantee. During NBA All-Star 2021, the Legacy Committee will invite the 21 Rising Stars to Indianapolis to participate throughout the weekend and be recognized for their efforts, including through a corresponding scholarship program.
The 70th NBA All-Star Game will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on February 14, 2021. For general information about NBA All-Star 2021, please visit http://pacers.com/allstar2021.
NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Grantees include:
A Kid Again - Indiana Chapter
A Kid Again will collaborate with Independence Park in Greenwood to provide an all-accessible playground for those with disabilities.
"On behalf of A Kid Again and the nearly 2,200 kids with life-threatening conditions and their families we have served this past year, we would like to sincerely thank the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Committee for selecting us as a partner. The ability to receive a grant as part of NBA All-Star 2021 will allow us to continue our efforts in providing hope, happiness and healing for the brave families we serve. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary as an organization, we are thankful for the wonderful partnerships in our communities. Together, we are making a difference during a time when these kids and families need us most." (Katie Pappas, Executive Director, A Kid Again – Indiana Chapter)
Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources, Inc.
Agape will use the funding to replace the footing in the indoor arena that was built in 2009 in Bradford Woods Equine Center.
"Agape Therapeutic Riding is honored to be a recipient of the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Grant. Thanks to these funds we will be able to keep the 1,750 youth we serve each year at our Indiana University's Bradford Woods Equine Center in Martinsville safe and comfortable, through the replacement of our arena footing and installation of insulation in our indoor riding arena." (Stephanie Amick, Executive Director, Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources, Inc.)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana
Hammond Boys & Girls Club (one of multiple sites of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana) will be renovating the gym including its equipment, fixtures and furniture.
"Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana's goal is to provide safe, empowering and fun places for kids during their out-of-school time. With a focus on providing opportunities to build Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles for kids – our Board, staff, parents and youth are thrilled to be a recipient of the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Grant. This funding will help us refurbish the gymnasium of our Club located in Hammond, IN. This grant is one part of a larger renovation project of our Club to give kids in Hammond a modern, updated facility where they can engage in athletic, leadership and academic programs daily. We thank Indiana Sports Corporation, NBA All-Star Committee and Board, Governor Holcomb and Mayor Hogsett for this partnership. This Legacy Grant will last longer than a day, longer than a year...but a lifetime for so many youth." (Ryan Smiley, president and Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana)
Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County
The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County will renovate space in its center to become a Launching Center. This space will include STEM activities for elementary kids plus Project Lead the Way for high school students.
"On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, and membership, the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County is truly thankful to the Indiana Pacers organization for hosting the 70th NBA All-Star game and sponsoring the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Projects. We are honored and humbled to be one of the twenty-one recipients selected! Our Legacy Project, the Lawrence County Launching Center, will have an everlasting impact not only on our club kids, but our entire community as well." (Frank Decker, Chief Professional Officer, Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Marshall County
The Boys & Girls Club of Marshall County will update the 23-year-old gym. This includes new backboards, bleachers, volleyball nets, soccer nets and soccer balls, in addition to refinishing the gym floor.
"We feel very fortunate and excited for Boys & Girls Clubs of Marshall County to receive this opportunity. Thanks to the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Grant, this project will help us provide more opportunities for our families and children utilizing our gym." (Andrew Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Marshall County)
Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville
The Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville will provide an outdoor space that promotes a sense of community which will be primarily used as a basketball court and could be used for pickleball, fitness classes and recreational games as well.
"The Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville is thrilled to have been selected to receive an NBA All- Star 2021 Legacy Grant that will combine our mantra of 'Great Futures Start HERE' with the All- Star Legacy initiative 'We Grow Basketball Here' in an effort to positively impact the lives of local youth through the state's legendary pastime of basketball!" (Becky Terry, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville)
Chances And Services
Chances And Services in Terre Haute will be doing a renovation at Booker T Washington Community Center gym which will include refurbishing the gym floor, installing foam wall pads and a roll up curtain, among other upgrades.
"Chances And Services for Youth is excited to partner with Indiana Sports Corporation and the Pacers to further build successful youth programming in the heart of Terre Haute. For years, CASY has worked with some of the most vulnerable youth in our community. This grant will further expand our services in youth sports and development and help us reach our vision that every child, every age, every chance has the opportunity to grow up safe, healthy, and drug- free." (Brandon Hollack, Chief Operating Officer, Chances And Services for Youth)
Concord Neighborhood Center
Concord Neighborhood Center will replace its 25-year-old carpet in its multi-purpose gymnasium with hardwood floor. The new hardwood floor will provide kids and families a more authentic recreational play space for years to come.
"We hope our new gym floor will energize our programming and strengthen the connectivity of all our residents to the exciting happenings that are occurring on the near Southside." Lynn Rogers, Director of Children and Youth Services, Concord Neighborhood Center)
Dream Center Evansville
Dream Center of Evansville's basketball court was built in 2007 and is in need of updates. Renovations will include a retractable curtain, adjustable hoops, two new hoops and replacement pads for the backboards and walls.
"The All-Star 2021 Legacy Project is empowering big, positive change at Dream Center Evansville. From safety upgrades, to increasing our capacity for fitness and fun, to infrastructure upgrades that make our program more attractive to kids, the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Project is truly helping grow basketball and the community here in Evansville. We couldn't be more grateful to the NBA and to the Pacers, and we look forward to a fun and competitive All-Star Week next February." (Jeremy Evans, Executive Director, Dream Center Evansville)
Duneland Family YMCA
Duneland Family YMCA in Chesterton is going to establish the Preschools Sports Academy. This will include two outdoor basketball courts with adjustable hoops and soccer fields with goals.
"The Duneland Family YMCA is honored to be recognized by the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Committee. This grant will provide our organization an opportunity to serve the developmental needs of all children under the age of 5 as we strive to build a stronger and healthier Duneland community." (Dave Kasarda, Chief Executive Officer, Duneland Family YMCA)
Friends of Historic Vernon
Friends of Historic Vernon will repair the gym built in 1941, including re-sanding, staining and re- sealing the floor, while also replacing the backboard and hoops.
"Thank you to the NBA All-Star Legacy Project for their generous support in renovating the Vernon Gym. This support will help us continue to 'Grow Basketball' in our Indiana community. Thank you so much!" (Amber Fields, President, Friends of Historic Vernon)
Hawthorne Community Center
Hawthorne Community Center is partnering with Crossroads Education to create a learning lab that will combine technology, room design, and STEM programming for a learning environment for students to improve academic performance and confidence.
"The Legacy Grant provides Hawthorne Community Center the opportunity to provide high- quality programming to young people during out-of-school time. The support through this grant will allow Hawthorne to create a space and programming that will empower young people to build skills in science, technology, engineering and math. Young people in our community will have access to high quality programming, focused on making long-term impact, thanks to the support of the Legacy Grant." (Caleb Sutton, Executive Director, Hawthorne Community Center)
Indy Public Safety Foundation, Inc.
Indy Public Safety Foundation will refurbish and create two new outdoor basketballs courts at Indy Parks JTV Hill facility which is the home to the Police Athletic League (PAL).
"We are so grateful to be part of the legacy the NBA All-Star 2021 game will leave on Indianapolis and our entire state. This investment made for IPSF's Indy Police Athletic & Activities League (PAL) program will help ensure under-appreciated youth in Indy continue to grow and thrive through basketball, sports and relationship-building with law enforcement." (Dane Nutty, Executive Director, Indy Public Safety Foundation, Inc.)
Jameson Camp will create a new outdoor regulation basketball court and STEM Lab. The STEM Lab will include a Renewal Resources Station, a Coding 101 Station, a Creation Station and Robotics Station.
"We are extremely grateful for this unique opportunity to partner with the NBA All-Star Legacy Project to enhance our programming across the board. At Jameson Camp, we encourage everyone to Get Outside and Grow Inside. This grant will allow us to ensure our youth have a safe place for positive connection and physical activity with new basketball courts and specialty camp opportunities within the sport. In addition, we will be able to boost our Environmental Education programming with new STEM initiatives, including a new interactive STEM Lab." (Jennie Broady, Executive Director, Jameson Camp)
Jay County Boys Club
Jay County Boys Club will repurpose old restrooms no longer needed into functional space for programming which would include dance and fitness. The remainder of the space will be used for reading club, crafts, Legos, and other items for summer camp.
"The Jay Community Center is very excited to be a recipient of the NBA All-Star Legacy Grant. The grant will allow JCC to expand programming opportunities for the youth of Jay and surrounding counties." (Kyle Cook, Executive Director, Jay County Boys Club, Inc.)
Knightstown Kids Inc.
Knightstown Kids will establish a place for youth to play outside in a park setting in a safe location. They will recreate an exact replica of the famous Hoosiers Gym Basketball court used in the movie "Hoosiers" as an outdoor court with the same dimensions and striping.
"We have dreamed about making this court a centerpiece in our town for years. With the NBA All-Star Legacy Project Grant, that dream becomes a reality!" (William Gorman, Treasurer, Knightstown Kids Inc.)
L & A Parks Foundation
The families of Abby Williams and Libby German and the L & A Park Foundation will build a memorial park in Delphi in memory of Abby and Libby. Funds will be used to construct a walking trail and install seven fitness training stations on the trail.
"The L & A Park Foundation is truly honored to be named a recipient of the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Grant. We appreciate the opportunity to provide the scholarship to a deserving student from the Delphi Community Schools 2021 graduating class. The grant allocation for the walking/fitness trail at the Abby and Libby Memorial Park will be a wonderful contribution to the health and wellness of our community." (Eric Erskin, Board Member, L & A Parks Foundation)
Operation Full Court Press will modernize the gym and basketball court at the Salvation Army in Anderson.
"Project H.O.P.E. is a preventive leadership mentoring program designed to reach out to the youth of Madison County and we look forward to continuing this work through this Legacy grant." (Rev. Benjamin Santiago, Chief Executive Officer, Project H.O.P.E)
Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities
Turnstone will partner with Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation to make available four basketball courts in McMillen Park for renovation and painting to be used for wheelchair basketball.
"Combining sport and art will be a catalyst to promote the sport of basketball and inclusivity in our community. The NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Grant will foster positive interactions, creativity, sportsmanship, and acceptance--values which will benefit our community for years to come" (Mike Mushett, Chief Executive Officer, Turnstone Center)
Washington County Family YMCA
Washington County Family YMCA will build outdoor pickleball and basketball courts.
"The Washington County Family YMCA is excited to be given this grant opportunity through the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Project. The opportunities and advancements that will be brought to our community, to strengthen our youth and families is something that we have only been able to dream of. Through this grant we will be able to take some of the first steps in making that dream a reality." (Chelsey Miller, Youth First Director, Washington County Family YMCA)
White's Residential & Family Services
White's Residential and Family Services Center in Wabash will create a STEM lab for young men and women in the juvenile justice system by studying environment conservation aeroponics. They will build a greenhouse-based Tower Farming.
"Every year students leave our residential, therapeutic programs and begin life on their own, potentially with little to no support. They enter the next chapter of their lives, adulthood, needing foundational work skills that prepare them for their futures. Over 170 years ago, our founder, Josiah White, believed that faith, education, and work experience were foundational to leading a successful life. The All-Star Legacy Grant will help White's expand our vocational program called Growing Teens for Life, ensuring that every teen we serve has the opportunity to grow through vocational training." (Ron Evans, President and Chief Executive Office, White's Residential & Family Services)