Detroit Pistons Partner With S.A.Y. Detroit To Enhance Facilities and Educational Programming at S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center
Philanthropic Donation and Partnership Initiative Aligns Renovated Gymnasium and Rededicated Basketball Court with Digital Academic Center at Lipke Park
DETROIT, Mich. – January 18, 2016 – The Detroit Pistons and S.A.Y. Detroit (Super All Year) today revealed plans for a long-term partnership at the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park (19320 Van Dyke Street, Detroit, MI, 48324).
Financial commitments provided by Pistons owner Tom Gores, PS&E Vice Chairman Arn Tellem and the Detroit Pistons Foundation will renovate the gymnasium and basketball court at the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center, which currently supports youth in the Osborn community area. Additional funding during the six-year commitment will be directed toward the Digital Education Enrichment Program (D.E.E.P.). This ensures the ability for the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center to increase academic performance, attendance and graduation rates, and to heighten social, self-esteem and professional presentation skills, all within the confines of a safe and well-operated facility.
“We need more places in Detroit where kids can learn and play in a safe environment,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “Sports and academics go hand in hand, helping young people grow and develop life skills that they’ll need for years to come. Working with S.A.Y. Detroit to renovate the gym at Lipke Park and help fund the academic programs will make a lasting impact that benefits the whole community.”
Open to all Detroiters, the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center works closely with schools to monitor the progress of students and ensure they are meeting entrance standards, as well as identify the areas in which they need to improve. With its unique approach to motivational learning, the center offers top-flight athletic facilities and access to professional athletes – but only if participants (students aged 8 to 18) maintain a 3.0 grade point average and stellar school attendance (less than three absences per semester), or enroll in the daily after-school tutoring program on site. Pistons center Andre Drummond will serve as player liaison to S.A.Y. Detroit, connecting with youth through selected appearances geared toward athletics and academics.
“We’re pleased to partner with SAY Detroit in refurbishing the gymnasium at Lipke Park and enriching the academic and tutoring program D.E.E.P.,” said PS&E Vice Chairman Arn Tellem. “Tom and I believe Detroit youth need safe academic and athletic havens to support opportunity and youth achievement. We support SAY Detroit’s efforts to build strong communities through academics, sports and the arts.”
Nestled on 14.2 acres in the Osborn School area, the SAY Detroit Play Center houses a football complex along with baseball, soccer/lacrosse fields and provides programming for dance and music, including a recording studio funded by Notes for Notes, a national education music organization. Notes for Notes received a grant from the Detroit Pistons Foundation in 2015.
"We are honored and excited to have the Pistons organization join our efforts to inspire, educate and elevate the young people of Detroit,” said S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom. “Basketball is a big part of city life, and it is a natural fit that a team so long a part of our city's story be part of the unique mission at the S.A.Y. Play Rec Center."
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who helped spearhead the enormous push to make SAY Detroit Play Center a reality, is equally excited about the newly-formed partnership.
“We are so thankful for S.A.Y. Detroit and the Pistons’ investment in the city,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “It’s great to offer Detroit’s children a place for athletics, but it’s even better to see that this emphasis placed on academics, as well.”