With the goal of improving youth fitness and access to sports ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the gift from the Clippers and owner Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, will be used to renovate three hundred and fifty basketball courts over the next two years. Ballmer told the Los Angeles Times that nets and backboards at many outdoor basketball courts in lower-income neighborhoods need to be repaired or replaced, while L.A. Parks Foundation executive director Judith Kieffer said indoor courts will receive new wood floors and equipment upgrades.
In a recent survey by the Department of Recreation and Parks of the city's courts, one hundred and four received a grade of C, the Times reports. Renovating the city's public basketball courts, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas, will have a long-term effect beyond the 2028 Olympics, said Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who began reaching out to potential funding partners in February. Initially, the goal was to raise enough to renovate some courts, Garcetti's office said, but when Ballmer expressed interest, the initiative was expanded to include all basketball courts in city parks.
"Los Angeles is a city that embraces opportunity — and every kid in this city should have every opportunity to grow up to be the next Lou Williams, or DeAndre Jordan," said Steve Ballmer, chairman of the L.A. Clippers. "Mayor Garcetti asked if the Clippers would play a role and help give opportunity to kids, and we were happy to step up. We believe every kid should have a shot at the American Dream, and youth sports opportunities can absolutely play a role in that."
(Photo credit: Dominick Guzzo)