WNBA, Nike Dedicate New Court

ORLANDO, Fla., July 15 -- As part of the 2001 WNBA All-Star festivities, the WNBA and Nike dedicated a new Reuse-A-Shoe basketball court, which was refurbished by Nike and the league using recycled athletic shoes, to the Orlando Boys & Girls Club Southwest Branch. In addition, WNBA players hosted a Be Active youth clinic with children from the club on the new court.

NBA Inside Stuff co-host Summer Sanders emceed the Be Active event. (Gary Bassing/WNBA Photos)

"WNBA All-Star is more than a showcase of the best female athletes in the world," said WNBA President Val Ackerman. "It provides an opportunity for the league, its players and our partners, like Nike, to highlight our joint commitment to community service."

NBA Inside Stuff co-host Summer Sanders emceed the event which included a court dedication ceremony featuring Carla McGhee of the Orlando Miracle, 2000 WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes, 2001 Team Be Active spokeswomen - Natalie Williams (Utah Starzz), Tina Thompson (Houston Comets) and Katie Smith (Minnesota Lynx), and Ackerman.

The players also conducted a WNBA Be Active presented by Nike youth clinic with 100 children from the Boys & Girls Club. The clinic was part of the WNBA Be Active presented by Nike national campaign, in its fourth year, which encourages young people and women to become physically active and raises awareness about the benefits of improved health and overall well-being.

Starzz All-Star forward and Be Active spokeswoman Natalie Williams does sit-ups during the Be Active clinic. (Gary Bassing/WNBA Photos)

Each year the WNBA and Nike team up to refurbish a court at a local youth organization in the city hosting the All-Star Game. The courts are refurbished through Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program, which recycles over two million pairs of old, unwanted footwear annually to create high performance basketball courts, running tracks, gym floors and playgrounds.

"This program underscores Nike's commitment to providing children a positive basketball experience, while recycling eliminating waste from old shoes," said Phil Cook, WNBA/NBA Marketing Manager. "Teaming with the WNBA and its players to promote fitness in today's youth with Be Active clinics underscores our commitment to helping improve the opportunities for young athletes."

The program has kept over 13 million post-consumer and defective shoes out of landfills since its inception. Nike uses every part and every brand of old sneakers, including the outsole rubber, midsole foam and the upper fluff. The outsole rubber and midsole foam is turned into Nike Grind and is used to create the Reuse-A-Shoe court surfaces, while the upper fluff becomes the padding used under carpeting.

The 2001 WNBA All-Star Game was played in the TD Waterhouse Centre, home of the Orlando Miracle, on July 16.


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