(BEDFORD) – The NBA All-Star 2021 Host Committee has awarded 21 organizations with an All-Star Legacy Grant, the $1 million initiative focused on youth-serving nonprofit organizations across Indiana.
Receiving the award locally was the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County and the Washington County Family YMCA.
The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County will renovate space in its center to become a Launching Center. This space will include STEM activities for elementary kids plus Project Lead the Way for high school students.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, and membership, the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County is truly thankful to the Indiana Pacers organization for hosting the 70th NBA All-Star game and sponsoring the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Projects,’ said Frank Decker, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County. “We are honored and humbled to be one of the twenty-one recipients selected! Our Legacy Project, the Lawrence County Launching Center, will have an everlasting impact not only on our club kids, but our entire community as well.”
Washington County Family YMCA will build outdoor pickleball and basketball courts.
“The Washington County Family YMCA is excited to be given this grant opportunity through the NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Project,” says Chelsey Mill, Youth First Director of Washington County Family YMCA. “The opportunities and advancements that will be brought to our community, to strengthen our youth and families is something that we have only been able to dream of. Through this grant, we will be able to take some of the first steps in making that dream a reality.”
In connection with NBA All-Star 2021 in Indianapolis next February, the initiative provides grants up to $50,000 for each of the selected 21 brick-and-mortar projects focused on health and wellness or education. The 21 projects will impact an estimated 90,000 youth statewide.
The NBA All-Star 2021 Legacy Committee was tasked to create a meaningful grant opportunity to leave a legacy long after the game is played. The Committee, led by NBA All-Star 2021 Host Committee Board Co-Chairs Tamika Catchings and Rafael Sanchez, launched the initiative in October 2019.
The 21 grantees, representing 18 counties, were chosen from 182 applicants from across Indiana.
“We had an overwhelmingly positive response statewide to the grant applications,” said Rick Fuson, Founding Chairman, All-Star Board of Directors and President and Chief Operating Officer, Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “Narrowing the list to 21 grant recipients involved considerable review and discussion by our Legacy Committee. They had to make tough choices amongst a pool of incredibly strong and impactful grant requests.”
Factors closely examined included clear project objectives, funding and budget information, identified partners, number of people served and a demonstrated need. The committee worked to identify 21 grantees who represent diversity of audience served, project type, and geographic range. Many of the grantees also have secured matching funds which will further the impact of their project. The 21 projects will be constructed and completed before the tip of NBA All-Star 2021.
“As we look forward to our 70th NBA All-Star Game in 2021, there is no better way to recognize this milestone than through the legacy initiative,” Todd Jacobson, NBA Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility, added. “We look forward to celebrating the work these 21 organizations do each day to help make communities across Indiana stronger.”
“Basketball is a part of the DNA of Indiana, serving as a common language for residents of all ages and backgrounds. These 21 legacy projects showcase our community’s commitment to future generations while also celebrating the history and heritage of basketball in our state leading up to NBA All-Star 2021,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Through this million-dollar investment in youth-serving organizations, we are leveraging our role as the host of this world-class event and putting into action the sentiment that ‘we grow basketball here.’”
Next, the Legacy Grantees will nominate three high school-aged Rising Stars for their project who are members of the class of 2021. From these nominees, the Legacy Committee will select 21 Rising Stars, one per project, who will serve as honorary chairs for their respective Legacy Grantee. During NBA All-Star 2021, the Legacy Committee will invite the 21 Rising Stars to Indianapolis to participate throughout the weekend and be recognized for their efforts, including through a corresponding scholarship program.
The 70th NBA All-Star Game will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on February 14, 2021. For general information about NBA All-Star 2021, please visit http://pacers.com/allstar2021.