NEW YORK – As part of NBA All-Star 2015, the NBA, National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and New York City Mayor’s Office tipped off today a seasonlong effort to reach hundreds of thousands of youth throughout New York City’s five boroughs through fun, fitness-related basketball activities.
The announcement was made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts at Midland Beach, an area of Staten Island hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. In support of the initiative, Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, Nets General Manager Billy King, Madison Square Garden President and CEO Tad Smith and Knicks Head Coach Derek Fisher joined Apollo Investment Corporation (Miracle Recreation Equipment Company’s parent company) CEO and Director Jim Zelter to attend a playground and basketball court dedication built by the league, NBPA, Miracle and the city of New York.
Following the announcement, Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko, Knicks center Cole Aldrich, Orlando Magic guard and NBPA Vice President Willie Green, Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike, and New York Liberty guard/forward Essence Carson led an NBA FIT basketball clinic for more than 150 students from P.S. 38 and Egbert Intermediate School.
“Our city’s children thrive when they have safe, open spaces to explore, learn and play – and the NBA’s community efforts this year will reach hundreds of thousands of children in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. I want to thank all those involved for helping refurbish Midland Beach’s playground after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and providing this local community with a safe, open space for Staten Island’s children to enjoy,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“New York City is a mecca for basketball and this season’s NBA All-Star Game is the perfect opportunity to give back to the city that has meant so much to the game,” said Silver. “Beginning today and throughout the season, we will celebrate the game by bringing to the youth of New York, across all five boroughs, community-based programs that focus on basketball, fitness, nutrition and healthy living.”
“New York City has a unique and richly deserved connection with the game of basketball and the city has been the home and headquarters of the NBPA for almost 50 years,” said Roberts. “On behalf of all of our players, we are delighted to contribute to the annual celebration of the game during NBA All-Star 2015. NBA players take special pride in using the game that they love to assist many of the diverse communities that help make New York the extraordinary city that it is.”
Tipping off this seasonlong schedule of community events, members of the NBA family today will roll up their sleeves and join together to make a difference in communities throughout the New York area as part of the NBA Cares Day of Service. More than 1,000 employees of the NBA league offices, Nets and Knicks will participate in a variety of hands-on service projects that will occur simultaneously at volunteer sites throughout New York City.
In Brooklyn, Nets players and employees will provide Healthy Eating Cafeteria Makeovers to three schools and students with Nets-branded school supplies. The makeovers are part of the Brooklyn Nets Assist program, which stands to support four key pillars: Education, Athletics, Health & Wellness, and Community Development. In Manhattan, the Knicks, the Liberty and the Garden of Dreams Foundation will dedicate a refurbished basketball court at the Children’s Aid Society in Harlem, distribute school supplies to community youth, and assemble healthy lunches that will be distributed to local shelters that are part of Life Center.
To celebrate the game throughout the season, the NBA family will teach the values of the sport, including hard work, discipline, leadership, and teamwork. Across the five boroughs, NBA Cares will work with local community-based organizations and schools to host and enhance programs that encourage basketball skill development, fitness and nutrition.
Today’s Staten Island project was made possible by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and through NYC Parks’ Adopt-A-Park program, a way for businesses, groups, and individuals to give back to their local community by providing financial support for the improvement of neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and greenstreets.
For information on how to get involved in the seasonlong outreach, visit NBACares.com.
NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated more than $242 million to charity, completed more than 3 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 915 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, in 26 countries and territories on five continents. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Share Our Strength and GLAAD.