The Golden State Warriors unveil a renovated basketball court in Richmond

on October 27, 2014

Luck struck on the Martin Luther King basketball court as the last drops of rain fell and the ceremony of face-painted children with balloons and basketballs began.

“Let’s have a wonderful day in Richmond,” said former Golden State Warrior and All-star player Mitch Richmond, who will be giving his name to the court.

The court, part of the recreational fields of the Martin Luther King Park in Coronado, were refurbished during the summer when the Warriors team decided to invest in Richmond.

The 14,000 square foot court has the yellow and blue Golden State Warriors logo painted on it.

“We want to try and create healthy communities, a safe place for kids to play,” said Diane Aranda of the California Endowment, the Warriors’ partner in this project. Said Warriors Community Foundation Executive Director Jose Gordon; “I think our work with the California Endowment is going to be a long partnership.”

“I’m looking forward to coming to play here one day soon,” said Richmond, who was recently voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Along with the unveiling of the court, some 50 youth from Richmond College Prep participated in a training led by the Warriors. The Warriors are collaborating with the California Endowment and other local partners to invest in Richmond youth basketball training.

Their collaboration started in late September 2014, when youth from the Richmond Police Athletic League got to train with a Warriors coach.

The refurbishing of the court and the training program are part of a Bay Area-wide initiative called “Step Up Your Game,” led by the Active Alliance, a partnership of the NBA’s four California teams.

“Today we celebrate one more step in showcasing the transformation of Richmond,” said Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.

The park is the first within the country to have three local pro teams participate in its rehabilitation, according to research from the Richmond Community Foundation.

The new Richmond court gives a new look to a once neglected area.

The Oakland A’s paid for the renovation of the baseball field in 2010, and the Oakland Raiders paid for the refurbishing of the football field in 2011.

“It’s wonderful,” said Janie Holland, former President of the Santa Fe neighborhood council; “What more can you have?”

The Warriors have so far refurbished about 50 basketball courts around the Bay Area.

Their possible next project? Shields-Reid Park in North Richmond.

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