FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK KNICKS' AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE AND NIKE DEDICATE NEW BASKETBALL COURT AT THE TAYLOR-WYTHE COMMUNITY CENTER IN BROOKLYN
City Youth Will Benefit from World Class Court
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York Knicks' Forward Amar'e Stoudemire and Nike North America East General Manager Daryl Jones today joined children from the El Puente afterschool program to dedicate a new basketball court at the Taylor-Wythe Community Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The court was originally used at Radio City Music Hall during last year's inaugural World Basketball Festival - a four-day celebration sponsored by Nike and USA Basketball. The Mayor, Amar'e Stoudemire, Daryl Jones and children were joined at the announcement by Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, Executive Director of El Puente Frances Lucerna, Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John B. Rhea. Following the dedication, Amar'e Stoudemire officially opened the court at a basketball clinic for the young people in DYCD's basketball leagues.
"Today is a great example of what can be accomplished when people give back to their community," said Mayor Bloomberg. "When kids are involved in sports, they learn the value of teamwork and start to build a solid foundation of skills that will help carry them through life - both on and off the court. This basketball court will help train New York's stars of tomorrow and would not have been possible without the generosity of Nike and Amar'e Stoudemire."
"I am proud as a Nike athlete to be a part of this great initiative," said Amar'e Stoudemire. "Growing up, I always imagined playing on a court like this some day. It's amazing to be here and see my dream come to life for the children in this community."
Amar'e Stoudemire has been working with the City since arriving in New York. The Amar'e Stoudemire Foundation regularly provides Knicks game tickets to DYCD children as a reward for their excellence in school and in their communities.
"Last summer's World Basketball Festival was a major success and while we wanted to highlight the global game, we also wanted to leave a local legacy," said Daryl Jones, Nike GM North America East. "We hope that local young athletes and possible future NBA stars, take advantage of this amazing new resource to improve their game on the court and help inspire them off the court."
"It's always a 'win-win' when companies like Nike partner with City agencies," said Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. "We can all take pride in this fantastic new resource which will be utilized by the Williamsburg community for generations to come."
NIKE, Inc. used the backdrop of the World Basketball Festival to debut the "United We Rise" initiative - an effort to improve communities through basketball. As part of this program, Nike's partnership with the City has made a significant investment in youth programming at 25 DYCD Cornerstone Community Centers throughout the five boroughs. First announced in 2009, Cornerstone Community Centers provide engaging activities year-round for young people and adults living in New York City Housing Authority communities. The Youth programs are designed to help participants acquire the skills and attitudes they need to graduate from high school, succeed in their chosen career, and give back to the community. Adult programs are designed to enhance skills and promote social interaction, community engagement, and physical activity.
The "United We Rise" initiative will be the theme of the Taylor-Wythe court. On February 12th, local artist Alfred Cervantes worked with residents involved with the Cornerstone initiative to paint the interior of the center.
"When DYCD and Nike teamed up more than four years ago, we committed to go beyond the traditional youth recreation model and concentrate on the whole person," said Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. "By incorporating civic engagement into our youth programs, we instill a sense of community. Our young people know that there's more to success than winning or losing the games that will be played on this gym floor. The real measure of success is using what they learn on the court, in school, and in our programs to make a better tomorrow for every neighborhood of this City."
"Today we have come together to dedicate much more than a beautiful, world class basketball court. Today we reaffirm that our children are not alone," said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. "We proclaim that we are committed to their well-being and to the fulfillment of their dreams. We recommit, along with the Mayor, Nike and DYCD to making our communities stronger, more vibrant and more secure for our youth and for their families because that is the surest route to our common good."
"For the past 30 years, El Puente has supported our youth and families to create real and sustainable community change," said Frances Lucerna, Executive Director for Programs. "El Puente is proud to partner with DYCD and Nike in honoring and celebrating our young people through this wonderful opportunity to access a first-class facility that inspires greatness."
In addition to the court at the Taylor-Wythe Community Center, Nike will install a court in the coming months from the historic Rucker Park in Harlem at the Polo Grounds community center in Manhattan.
Stu Loeser/Jessica Scaperotti (Mayor) (212) 788-2958
Derek Kent (Nike) (212) 238-3437
Andrew Doba (Youth and Community Development) (212) 442-5979
Sheila Steinback (Housing Authority) (212) 306-3322
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