LISC and ESPN have teamed up to help bring better basketball facilities to kids in underserved communities. A pilot program called Home Court is making its first grants in Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City, focusing on neighborhoods that often can’t attract capital for quality sports and recreation programs.
ESPN teams up with LISC to support new basketball courts in five local communities
NEW YORK (February 18, 2016)–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.”
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplift the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society’s needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations, and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information, go to www.espn.com/citizenship.
LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, program strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. It combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources. Since 1980, LISC has invested $16 billion to build or rehab 350,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 55 million square feet of retail, community and educational space—including athletic facilities and other recreational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.