LISC announced today that community organizations in seven cities across the country will receive grants totaling $150,000 to refurbish neighborhood basketball courts. The grants are part of the ESPN/LISC Home Court Program that provides nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local basketball courts in selected markets.
LISC has teamed up with Maestro Cares Foundation, Good Bunny Foundation and Cubs Charities to revive damaged Little League fields in Puerto Rico and, in the process, help revitalize communities still scarred from devastating 2017 hurricanes. Music icons Marc Anthony and Bad Bunny are leading the funding, with Chicago Cubs star Javier Báez and UNICEF USA joining the effort to restore these cultural hubs.
The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Field Grant Program announced grants totaling $3 million to newly build or significantly renovate fields in parks, schools or at community organizations in 14 cities from Brooklyn to Houston and Racine, WI to Indian Trail, NC. The funds will be used for improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards and more. About a partnership that has lasted 20 years, Alexia Gallagher, executive director of the NFL Foundation stated: “With more than one million youth using these fields, which provide safe places for families to come together and participate in sports, the benefits of the NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Field Grant Program are indisputable.”
Dale Royal, a community developer with 30 years’ experience bringing economic development, affordable housing and transportation opportunities to underserved neighborhoods, will be the inaugural executive director of LISC’s newest office in Atlanta, GA. LISC has already invested $18 million in Atlanta for workforce and youth development projects, and our SBA lending affiliate, immito, has just closed its first transformative loan in the city. Royal’s arrival will take that commitment to another level, leveraging his expertise in connecting communities with the capital to help them flourish.
Since 2015, the Home Court Program, a collaboration between ESPN and LISC, has improved the quality, safety, and accessibility of local basketball courts in low- to moderate-income areas. Now in its fourth year, the program is expanding funding to groups in Phoenix, D.C., Indianapolis, New Orleans, Minneapolis and Jacksonville, FL. As Beverly Smith, senior director of LISC’s sports and rec program, noted, “We’ve had great success identifying courts that, with a little financial and technical help, can be transformed into safe, inviting places where young people can play and enjoy the game of basketball.”