Young people in five cities will be able to shoot hoops on newly renovated basketball courts through a new national collaboration focused on improving the quality, safety and accessibility of courts in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods.
The Home Court Program, a pilot launched by ESPN and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), awarded $125,000 to upgrade basketball facilities in Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City. It specifically targets neighborhoods that struggle to attract capital for athletic facilities and programs.
“Basketball courts can serve as tremendous neighborhood assets,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “They provide more young people with the ability to access sports, which ultimately contributes to better health and quality of life for those in the community.”
In its initial effort, Home Court provided $25,000 grants for capital improvement projects to five nonprofit community organizations with the capacity to build or refurbish basketball courts in schools and local neighborhood facilities.
LISC President and CEO Michael Rubinger called the ESPN collaboration an exciting new opportunity to deepen work in distressed communities. Basketball courts—like LISC’s long-standing work in support of parks and athletic fields—are part of the organization’s comprehensive approach to revitalizing neighborhoods. In 2015 alone, LISC invested $1.3 billion in community development efforts focused on affordable housing, commercial corridors, good jobs, safer streets, improved health and strong schools.
“Good recreational facilities go hand-in-hand with good neighborhood quality of life,” Rubinger said. “These grants will allow community organizations and schools to leverage additional funds to maintain and upgrade local basketball courts.”
For more information, visit LISC Sports & Recreation.