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LISC/ESPN Announce New ‘Home Court’ Grants in Seven Cities

ESPN/LISC Home Court Program grants $150,000 to upgrade basketball courts at community facilities in seven cities nationwide

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (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, a collaboration between ESPN and LISC, one of the nation’s leading community development finance institutions. The program provides nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local basketball courts in selected markets.  

The funding cycle will include $25,000 grants to improve basketball courts in Mesa, Ariz.; Washington DC; Zionsville, Ind.; and New Orleans. A $20,000 award will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. Additionally, community groups in Phoenix, New Orleans and Minneapolis will receive $10,000 grants. 

The Home Court Program began in 2015 and to date has helped finance 27 projects with grants from ESPN totaling $575,000. 

“Basketball courts can serve as tremendous neighborhood assets,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “They provide more young people access to 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, LISC’s vice president for 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 can play. We look forward to doing that again this year.” 

About ESPN Corporate Citizenship  

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.  

About LISC  

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 $20 billion to build or rehab 400,500 affordable homes and apartments and develop 67 million square feet of retail, community and educational space—including athletic facilities and other recreational space.


October 2, 2019


Beverly Smith
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