Wizards and Heart Of America partner to renovate The Unselds’ School
Project part of the NBA 75th Live, Learn or Play Initiative in celebration of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Season
WASHINGTON, D.C. – To celebrate the birthday of Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, the Washington Wizards and Heart of America announced that they have joined forces to renovate The Unselds’ School as part of the NBA 75th Live, Learn and Play initiative that celebrates the league’s historic milestone season. Unseld and his wife, Connie, opened The Unselds’ School in Baltimore, Maryland in 1978. Under the leadership of Kim and Connie Unseld, the school is one of the few fully-accredited, Black-owned, non-church-affiliated elementary schools in Maryland, and it continues to serve as a place of learning and development in an underserved region of Baltimore City.
Part of the renovations taking place across the campus include an outdoor space where students play and participate in after-school activities. The new space will include additional seating, asphalt murals, learning gardens, and eco-friendly equipment. The inclusion of low-maintenance and native plants and a city skyline mural will help create an engaging and inspiring outdoor haven for students and families. The renovations also include a transformed parent lounge/meeting area and a refreshed basketball courtyard, as well as updated school signage.
Unseld was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets with the second overall pick in 1968 NBA Draft out of Louisville. His 13.8 point and 18.2 rebound per game averages in his first season earned him Rookie of the Year and MVP Honors, making him just one of two players in league history win both awards in the same season. He was inducted into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1988. Unseld’s number 41 jersey was retired in 1981 and is currently one of five jerseys hanging in the rafters at Capital One Arena. Last October, the Wizards unveiled a bust of Unseld near section 111 at Capital One Arena. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (984) and rebounds (13,769).
Following Unseld’s passing, the Wizards opened a scholarship fund in conjunction with The Unselds’ School for local children to attend. Fans interested in supporting the school can do so by visiting this LINK.
An unveiling ceremony of the renovated Unselds’ school will take place in April 2022 with details to be released at a later date. The NBA 75th Live, Learn or Play initiative celebrates the historic milestone season while continuing the league’s legacy of supporting and uniting communities globally through the game of basketball. During the 2021-22 season, all 30 NBA teams will create new Live, Learn or Play Centers in their communities.
Here are renderings of the outdoor space at The Unselds’ School.
Heart of America is a national organization specializing in renovating learning spaces and filling education resource gaps. For over 25 years, Heart of America’s specialized team has worked to build a more equitable education system in historically underinvested communities through their unique partnerships with school districts, community centers and sponsors. Heart of America is a 501(c)(3) that has served more than two million students and community members by distributing over 4 million books, infusing $7 million in technology, and renovating over 800 spaces including: libraries, cafeterias, gymnasiums, tech labs and more across North America.