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Nike and the Portland Trail Blazers Come Together with Local Youth at Parklane Park to Celebrate the Tip-off of Citywide Basketball Courts Revitalization Project
Courts in up to 30 Portland Parks & Recreation sites are getting a makeover and upgrades, as a result of a more than $1 million donation from the two organizations.
Portland, Oregon – October 11, 2018 – Today, kids in outer southeast Portland gathered at Portland Parks & Recreation’s Parklane Park with Nike, the Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish, Mayor of Portland Ted Wheeler, and guests to celebrate the beginning of the 2018 Portland Basketball Courts Revitalization Project. This three-year project, announced in June, will refresh and upgrade outdoor basketball courts in up to 30 Portland Parks & Recreation sites – including Parklane Park, one of the first to be revitalized – thanks to a more than $1 million donation by Nike and the Trail Blazers.
“Portlanders are rightfully proud of our world-class parks and recreation system. And basketball courts are a place where people of all ages and backgrounds gather and play,” said Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “Thanks to our strong partnership with Nike and the Portland Trail Blazers, our courts are getting a makeover.”
From now through 2020, basketball courts in up to 30 parks in Portland will be repaired and refreshed with new paint and a new design featuring the name of the park. Repairs to the court surface and replacement of backboards and hoops will take place as needed. The general contractor for the project is Verde Builds, a program of Verde, an innovative Oregon nonprofit organization that serves communities by building environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach and advocacy. The builder is local company Pacific Ace, LLC.
Nike’s contribution to the 2018 Portland Basketball Courts Revitalization Project is a one-time donation of $750,000 to Portland Parks & Recreation, administered by Verde, to be used for the revitalization of the courts. The Portland Trail Blazers will donate $100,000 a year for the next three years (2018-2020). Nike and the Trail Blazers will also continue to support youth programming on the courts.
Parklane Youth, Trail Blazer Jusuf Nurkić and Blaze
This afternoon’s project tip-off celebration took place on the recently revitalized basketball court at Parklane Park (SE 155th Avenue and Main Street). Children from Rockwood Boys & Girls Club, Hacienda CDC, and Parklane Elementary School participated in fun basketball skill sessions led by Portland Trail Blazer Center Jusuf Nurkić and accompanied by the Blazers’ mascot, Blaze. Also in attendance was Trail Blazer President and CEO Chris McGowan, Trail Blazers Broadcasting Color Analyst Lamar Hurd, Nike Global Community Impact General Manager Caitlin Morris, and Verde Executive Director Tony DeFalco.
The event also celebrated the news that four more basketball courts at Argay Park, Harney Park, McKenna Park and Trenton Park will open this month, with the other revitalized courts to be ready within the next year.
“We’re excited to debut the new court design, and begin the full process of restoring and renewing courts across the city. This project means so much to us – not only is it continuing our long-standing commitment to Portland and the initial court resurfacing project we embarked on more than 15 years ago, it speaks directly to our beliefs in the power of sport to create equal playing fields and that all kids are made to play,” said Caitlin Morris, Nike Global Community Impact General Manager.
This project is a continuation of the 2002 Nike Anniversary Project in which the company donated more than $2 million to the Portland Parks Foundation, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, to resurface outdoor basketball courts at 30 park sites in 75 days, as Nike’s way of thanking the Portland area for being its home since 1972.
“Our partnership with Nike continues to be among our strongest, and this effort to refurbish courts around the Portland area to make basketball widely accessible is a major achievement,” said Chris McGowan, President and CEO of the Trail Blazers. “We thank Portland Parks & Recreation and Verde for their pivotal roles, too, in selecting the locations across our community with the most need. The investments of time, effort and resources by all involved will have a positive impact for many years.”
Said Mayor Ted Wheeler, “Nike and the Portland Trail Blazers are tremendous community partners, and the City of Portland is extremely grateful for their ongoing commitment to our community, and for their passion to renew our city’s basketball courts. This is an incredible gift – not only for those who live here, but for those who will visit and fall in love with Portland, too.”
The order in which the original 2002 Nike Anniversary Project parks are being revitalized is determined in large part by a Vulnerability Index, a point system based on the estimated aggregate demographics of a service area, as compared to citywide Portland estimates. Demographics of interest include persons under the age of 18, households below poverty status and people of color.
Currently, Portland Parks & Recreation and Verde are evaluating the courts and determining the revitalization work schedule. Parks that were a part of the original 2002 Nike Anniversary Project and now under consideration for the 2018 Portland Basketball Courts Revitalization Project include (in alphabetical order):
About Portland Parks & Recreation
Portland Parks & Recreation helps Portlanders play – providing the safe places, facilities, and programs which promote physical, mental and social activity. We get people, especially kids, outside, active, and connected to the community, increasing the wellness of our residents and the livability of our city. We establish, safeguard, and restore the parks, natural areas, public places and urban forest of the city, ensuring that these are accessible to all. We also develop and maintain excellent facilities and places for public recreation and community building, provide dynamic recreation programs and services that promote health and well-being for all, and partner with the community we serve.
About Nike Community Impact
Nike believes in the power of sport to unleash human potential and build community. We fuel this belief through Made to Play, our commitment to getting kids moving through play and sport so they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives. Together with community partners and our employees around the world, we’re designing innovative solutions to get more than 16 million kids playing, running and jumping their way to a brighter future. Find out more about Nike's commitment to getting kids moving and providing opportunities for equal playing fields for all at communityimpact.nike.com.
About the Portland Trail Blazers
Members of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Portland Trail Blazers were founded in 1970 and purchased by Paul G. Allen in 1988. The team's rich heritage includes 34 playoff appearances, three trips to the NBA Finals, an NBA championship in 1977, and a commitment to community service and sustainability. The Trail Blazers are dedicated to positively impacting underserved kids and their families throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington where they live, learn and play. Portland is the first and only professional sports franchise to receive the prestigious National Points of Light Award for excellence in corporate and community service. The Trail Blazers’ home arena, the Moda Center, earned LEED Gold Recertification in 2015 after becoming the first existing professional sports venue in the world to receive LEED Gold status in 2010. The team is also one of the founding members of the Green Sports Alliance. For more information, visit trailblazers.com.
Verde serves communities by building environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach and advocacy. Since 2005, Verde has brought new environmental investments to Portland’s neighborhoods, involved community members in the planning and building of these investments, and ensured that low-income people and people of color directly benefit from the investments. verdenw.org