FLINT, MI – There’s a new premier basketball spot in town.
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores’ FlintNOW Foundation, a private-sector charity that supports Flint residents, unveiled new basketball courts in Windiate Park at a June 19 event on Sunday, June 19.
“I’ve always believed that the most effective solutions come from people on the ground, from the community, working together to make a difference,” said Gores, who grew up in Flint. “The tireless efforts of local residents to provide safe spaces for children is truly admirable. I’m proud that we were able to bring everyone together and harness their vision and creativity to make Windiate Park a vibrant place for children to play.
The renovated and redesigned basketball courts were designed by artist and Flint native Jamieerson Green, in partnership with Shareka Howard of Howard’s Helping Hands in Genesee County.
Green, who founded Leader Quality, was inspired by Howard’s paintings and comments about children spending time in this park. The colorful mural says “Where there is unity there is strength”.
The artist recalled stories of playing basketball in Flint growing up.
“Man, it’s competitive. One thing about Flint is you better bring your A game and you better play hoop or you’re going to be embarrassed,” Green said. “They taught me to be resilient and taught me not to be afraid.”
Howard, who runs the family-run nonprofit that adopted Windiate Park for rehabilitation in 2014, called it Flint’s best mural.
“We’re grateful to have the opportunity to work together to create something positive,” Howard said. “We know that as long as we stick together and work together, we will succeed and improve the lives of our children.
It is the first of three courts to be renovated and redesigned in Genesee County as part of a $100,000 grant provided by FlintNOW.
“Every time we do something, it’s important that we have local connections. If we want to give back to the community, we need to use vendors and promote resources that come from the community to tie it all together,” Erika Swilley, vice president of Pistons Community & Social Responsibility.
The courts at William Durant Park and Riverside West Park will also be redeveloped over the next 18 months.
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