On Monday, October 20, former Golden State Warriors guard and 2014 Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Fame inductee Mitch Richmond teamed up with the Warriors Community Foundation, The California Endowment and Good Tidings Foundation to unveil two newly-refurbished basketball courts at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Richmond, CA. The shooting guard hosted 50 youth from Richmond College Prep and the Richmond Police Activities League for a Warriors Community Basketball Clinic on the new courts created in honor of the Hall of Famer.
“I wish that I had the opportunity to play on a court this nice growing up,” said Richmond. “I hope that each of you will follow your dreams, enjoy yourself today and make today a special one.”
The 50 boys and girls arrived at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Monday afternoon to find two beautiful new regulation basketball courts equipped with 14,000 square feet of all-weather acrylic surfacing, four plexiglass hoop systems, spectator seating and a new drinking fountain for the kids to hydrate and get ready for the next run.
“These new basketball courts help complete a vision, created 10 years ago by local residents as part of the Nystrom United Revitalization Effort (NURVE),” stated James Becker, president and CEO of the Richmond Community Foundation. “The courts will serve hundreds of children and families in the neighborhood and will serve as a centerpiece of the neighborhood,” Becker said.
Mitch Richmond, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Warriors Legend and Good Tidings Foundation representative Nate Thurmond, The California Endowment Richmond Program Manager Diane Aranda, Healthy Richmond Hub Committee Member Andre Aikins and Richmond Committee Foundation Board Member Roxanne Cruz were introduced by the event’s emcee and ABC 7 Sports Director, Larry Beil, to the crowd to share words of encouragement and excitement for the new playing surfaces.
“Richmond has enjoyed a baseball diamond and a new football field, but what the children in our community have missed are beautiful new public basketball courts for everyone to enjoy,” said Mayor McLaughlin.
After the ceremony, Richmond hosted a ceremonial tip-off with the children before breaking into a Warriors Community Basketball Clinic with Warriors Youth Basketball staff. The youth spent an hour learning and refining their passing, dribbling and shooting skills with the Hall-of-Famer observing and sharing words of encouragement.
This event is part of the Step Up Your Game program, which will hold basketball court refurbishments, additional Warriors Basketball Clinics and Warriors Dance Team dance clinics throughout the 2014-15 season to provide positive lifestyle and fitness programs for Bay Area youth.
“The Step Up Your Game program, part of The California Endowment and the Active Alliance, is so thrilled to be here with you all today to promote healthy habits and physical activity for such an enthusiastic group of children,” said Aranda.
The Warriors and Good Tidings Foundation have refurbished nearly 50 basketball courts throughout the Bay Area to revitalize local neighborhoods and communities by providing youth with a safe and fun place to play.
“We are proud of what our partnership with the Warriors Community Foundation has accomplished and look forward to the projects ahead of us,” said Thurmond.
This event is also part of NBA Cares Week, as the league’s players, coaches and legends participate in activities and events across the country to support the communities in which we live, work and play. Through this league-wide initiative, NBA players and teams have donated over $242 million, completed more than 3 million hours of community service and created more than 915 places where children and families can live, learn and play.
“This court unveiling represents the Warriors Community Foundation, The California Endowment and Good Tidings Foundation’s commitment to the development, health and well-being of our young people,” said Aikins.