The Clippers committed to renovating all Los Angeles-area basketball courts in partnership with the Los Angeles Parks Foundation in 2018.
Four years and 350 public basketball courts later, the Clippers have fulfilled that wish.
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were on hand Tuesday to unveil a new basketball court at the Michelle and Barack Obama Sports Center in Los Angeles, the last of 350 renovated Clippers Community Courts in the city. .
“The population of the City of Los Angeles is nearly 4 (million) people, and 98% of them live within two miles of a Clippers Community Court. This means that 3.9 (million) people have access to these courts and all the benefits that come with them,” Ballmer said Tuesday. “With our partners at the Los Angeles Parks Foundation and LA Department of Recreation and Parks , it is a proud achievement.”
Moussa Diabaté, who was drafted by the Clippers with the 43rd pick in the 2022 NBA Draft last week, also attended the ceremony on his first outing with the team. Ballmer said he and Diabate agreed that the new community court “looks just as good as the court at the (Clippers’) practice facility.”
“The staff that worked on this thing, the contractor, the folks at the Department of Recreation and Parks, great job,” Ballmer said with an enthusiastic thumbs up.
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Ballmer and his wife Connie Ballmer were first approached by the Department of Recreation and Parks in 2018 to renovate a number of courts in the city park. Gillian Zucker, president of business operations for the Clippers, said the Ballmers made the decision to renovate all of the city’s courts by looking at communities in need with a $10 million donation.
“This was the largest donation ever to the City of Los Angeles’ parks system and it transformed recreation centers and was a point of pride for nearly every neighborhood in the city,” said Carolyn Ramsay , executive director of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation. .
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Tuesday, Ballmer said the main goal is “to impact children’s lives… But if we get some fans, I’m okay with that too.” After a laugh, he added, “We’re here to win championships, excite the fans and help the kids.”
Garcetti said the completed project shows “the Clippers are so much more than a basketball organization. They are an agent of social and economic change, and one of our strongest partners in our work to empower people.” young Angelenos”.
In addition to a place to play ball, the newly renovated facilities have also been used as shelters, emergency child care centers and alternative learning sites in the community during the pandemic. The Clippers Community Courts will also help promote youth sports ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
“It’s a game-changer as we look to the future. It’s going to build that next legacy,” Jimmy Kim, assistant general manager of recreation and parks, said in a video shared by the Clippers. Twitter account.
Contributor: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Clippers complete renovation of 350 basketball courts in Los Angeles