A dedication ceremony and launch took place this afternoon for the second completed restoration project of the Community Hoops program, sponsored by partners Purdue Athletics and Managed Health Services (MHS). This program is restoring and rebuilding basketball courts in communities across Indiana.
Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll was joined by former Purdue basketball player Brian Cardinal with Purdue Cardinal Community Hoops, Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke, assistant men’s basketball coach Greg Gary, along with Kevin O’Toole from MHS and youth from Jennings Recreation Center, to dedicate the newly restored outdoor basketball court at the Center.
“We’re grateful to the Purdue Cardinal Community Hoops program partners for helping us continue to improve the quality of life in Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “Offering our City’s youth more options like basketball on a new court doesn’t only help them stay active, it teaches them leadership and team building skills that will help them become future leaders in our community.”
“The goals of the Community Hoops program are to get kids outside, get them active and exposed to the game of basketball, and to have fun playing,” said Cardinal, who played for the Boilermakers from 1997 to 2000 and subsequently enjoyed a 12-year NBA career. “Sports can serve as a wonderful foundation for a healthy lifestyle while also developing leadership qualities.”
The Jennings Center project includes new asphalt overlay and new color-coating with the Purdue University logo, the Cardinal Community Hoops logo and MHS logo. New collegiate-style basketball goals were also installed with 72-inch by 42-inch transparent backboards.
“Obesity has become an epidemic here, and throughout the country,” said O’Toole. “We are committed to transforming the health of the community one person at a time, and we see this partnership with Purdue Athletics as a unique opportunity to continue that purpose.”
“This basketball court has taken a beating because it’s well-used,” said Director Moll. “It needed major renovations and we’re thankful that Purdue Cardinal Hoops chose Jennings Center. It gave us the head start we needed to invest in a new fence and bleachers. It’s important to provide free, safe places for our youth to congregate. If the excited faces are any indication, this court will be in high demand.”
Purdue Cardinal Community Hoops, started in 2012 by Purdue Trademarks and Licensing, was designed to create community partnerships to take on projects such as restoring the Jennings Center basketball court, which had been in need of major repairs.