NBA AND NIKE TEAM UP TO REFURBISH COURT

Lisa Leslie and Swin Cash Help Dedicate New NikeGO Court and Conduct Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Basketball & Books Clinic

LOS ANGELES February 10 -- The National Basketball Association and Nike dedicated a new NikeGO basketball court – resurfaced using approximately 2,500 pairs of recycled athletic shoes– today at the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles as part of a series of community activities leading up to NBA All-Star 2004 in Los Angeles. Following the court dedication, WNBA stars Lisa Leslie (LA Sparks) and Swin Cash (Detroit Shock) and NBA Legends Fat Lever and Sam Perkins led a Jr. NBA/Jr.WNBA Basketball & Books clinic for more than 50 youngsters on the new court where the players read Strong to the Hoop by John Coy and conducted basketball drills with the children. Additionally NBA staff will simultaneously conduct Basketball & Books clinics onsite at the Shatto Recreation Center and the Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club.

Lisa Leslie offers support to the community.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/WNBAE/Getty Images
The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA, presented by Gatorade and Nike, is a support program for recreational youth basketball leagues designed to heighten awareness and enhance the youth basketball participation experience for parents, players, coaches and officials. Approximately 1,000 youth basketball leagues and about 50,000 teams (for boys and girls, ages 5-14 years-old) are 2003-04 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA members. 100,000 coaches, 25,000 officials and 500,000 players and their parents will participate in the program this year.

“We are proud to give back to the local community through NBA All-Star in the Community activities, and have a chance to impact the lives of young people here in Los Angeles,” said Kathy Behrens, Vice President NBA Community Relations. “We thank Nike for their continued support in making these types of programs like the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA possible.”

NikeGO is Nike's signature U.S. community affairs initiative and the company's long-term commitment to getting kids more physically active. The program's mission is to increase physical activity in youth ages 8-15, offering them the support and motivation to become physically active, stay healthy and have fun. Nike committed more than $10 million in the United States last year in cash and products to get kids moving and targets to increase that amount in the current year. Visit www.nikego.com for additional information.

“Nike is committed to helping kids get active and giving them the means to do it,” said Molly White, Nike's Director of U.S. Community Affairs. “Through partnerships like this one with the NBA, we're able and honored to provide a beautiful court in the heart of the Los Angeles community that will provide thousands of kids with the acess and means to be active and have fun in the process.”

This is the fourth year Nike and the NBA have refurbished a basketball court for youth in conjunction with NBA All-Star. Since 1993, more than 15 million pairs of athletic shoes have been recycled through Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program. Instead of sending them to the landfill, Nike invented a process to slice unusable athletic shoes into three parts. Each part is then ground into materials that can be reused to make new NikeGO sports surfaces (including, running tracks, playground surfaces, and basketball and tennis courts), which it donates to communities across the U.S. to help get kids more physically active. For more information about the program, visit www.nikereuseashoe.com.

Connor Sports Flooring, a leader in the sports flooring industry for over 100 years, has been meeting the demands of athletes from local Boys and Girls club and YMCA's to many of the top universities and professional sports teams. Connor and Nike have formed a relationship to utilize Nike Grind materials from Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program in the cushioning of both Hardwood and Synthetic basketball court systems. For more information, visit www.connorfloor.com The NBA All-Star game will feature the top players from the Eastern and Western conferences going head to head on Sunday, February 15, 2004 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. It is the culmination of a week of activities that will showcase the greatest athletes in the world playing basketball at the highest level of competition, present the excitement of NBA basketball on an international stage, and display the league’s deep commitment to its community through numerous events held throughout the Los Angeles community.

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