Announced via Roc Nation Sports today – two basketball titans are teaming up to build and restore basketball courts around the world. The Oklahoma City Thunder star and former NBA MVP Kevin Durant, and his Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF), have partnered with Nike for the “Build It And They Will Ball” Basketball Court Renovation Initiative.
“When I was young, playing basketball was one of the things that kept me out of trouble and kept me focused on my growth and maturity into the man I would eventually become,” Durant said via statement. “For that reason, I’ve always wanted to play a leadership role in communities and neighborhoods – like the one I grew up in – and give kids a chance to choose health, teamwork and basketball over some of the other negative influences they may face. Thanks to Nike and many other supporters, the renovation and development of these basketball courts is the perfect opportunity to open these doors.”
Together, they will launch an annual program to build or completely renovate international playgrounds, and to increase the number of high quality basketball courts accessible to underprivileged youth across the United States and internationally.
The first three locations benefitting from this collaboration are Oklahoma City, OK, Washington, D.C., and Berlin, Germany. The aim is to have the basketball courts operational and open to the public by September 2015.
At the heart of the initiative is the recycled materials that will go into the project. The court underlays will include Nike Grind, a premium material made from recycled athletic shoes and Nike manufacturing scrap that provides cushioning and durability – two factors which have long been a question in outdoor basketball court construction.
Durant, who was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. / Maryland area, says that recent trips abroad to Asia and Europe have inspired him to connect internationally with the next generation leading the game.
The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 mission-based organization founded by Kevin Durant to enrich the lives of at-risk youth from low-income backgrounds through educational, athletic, and social program support. This program joins Kevin Durant’s goal to build courts that inspire and motivate young athletes with Nike’s long-term commitment to supporting projects that create access to sport and physical activity opportunities for youth. BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL will propel the mission of the KDCF to enrich the lives of youth from low-income backgrounds through various educational and athletic programs.