While for some, a basketball court is simply a space to play a game, for others, it is 94 feet of possibility.
In many communities, and especially in predominately black communities, the basketball court is a gathering place where multiple generations teach and learn important life lessons and feel a sense of belonging. However, without equipment, proper maintenance, and other barriers to entry, there is less opportunity for kids and the wider community to play.
By giving new life to these courts, providing the necessary equipment, and making these gathering spaces a source of community pride, we can provide a perspective that reaches beyond those 94 ft into a world of possibility.
This project addresses a lack of access and degradation of the neighborhood basketball courts in underserved communities along the I-94 corridor of southern Macomb County. It is an extension of our SportPort Mount Clemens initiative to provide equitable access to physical activity through increased access to sports and recreation. These courts serve as an entry point to important physical, emotional, and social life lessons. However, just like the appropriate supplies are needed in school and the right tool for the job, youth are unable to access the 94 ft of possibility on a basketball court if they do not have access to safe equipment. The project is working with municipalities to install ball racks on the courts and supply basketballs so that there is always the possibility of play.
One of our partners in our SportPort initiative in Mount Clemens, Thomas Barnes, of TCB Youth Mentoring, was able to secure a large donation of basketballs from the Detroit Pistons organization for this project. By leveraging the donation of the basketballs with this project made possible through a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, we are able to provide the safe equipment needed to encourage youth and their caregivers to get outside, in their own neighborhoods and retain access to 94 ft of possibility.
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