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.”
ESPN/LISC Home Court Program Announces $150,000 in Grants to Upgrade Basketball Courts in Six Cities Nationwide.
Community groups in Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, New Orleans, Minneapolis and Jacksonville, FL are encouraged to apply.
February 4, 2019 – Community organizations and schools in six cities across the country will receive grants totaling $150,000 to refurbish neighborhood basketball courts.
The grants are through the LISC/ESPN Home Court Program, a collaboration between ESPN and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the nation’s leading community development finance institutions. The Home Court Program provides non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations and schools with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local basketball courts in selected markets.
The funding cycle will include grants of up to $25,000 for improvement of basketball courts in Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; Phoenix, AZ; and Washington DC. Organizations applying for funds (nonprofit community groups, middle schools and high schools) must serve low- to moderate-income areas located specifically and exclusively within those markets. For details and application deadlines, see the request for proposals.
The Home Court Program began in 2015 and with a total investment of $425,000 from ESPN, has helped fund the renovation of 19 basketball courts in 14 cities across the nation, providing access to recreation spaces for over 100,000 youth.
“Basketball courts can serve as tremendous neighborhood assets,” said Kevin Martinez, ESPN vice president, corporate citizenship. “They provide more young people the ability to access sports, which ultimately contributes to better health and quality of life for those in the community.”
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing basketball courts in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, those local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of courts in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the courts.
“ESPN and LISC offer a winning formula for creating neighborhood recreational spaces”, said Beverly Smith, senior program director for LISC Sports & Recreation. “We’ve had great success over the last few years identifying courts that with a little financial and technical help can be transformed into safe, inviting places where young people in communities can play and enjoy the game of basketball. We are excited to offer the program again this year.”
Proposals are due by May 30, 2019. Please read the complete RFP before submitting a proposal.
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.
With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunities across America-great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979 LISC has invested $18.6 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community, educational and recreational space.