Los Angeles Clippers team Chairman Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, Friday helped open the first of hundreds of planned public basketball courts across Los Angeles to be renovated over the next three years.
Roughly 350 courts will be renovated through a $10 million gift to the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Gil Cedillo, Clippers President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker, Clippers guard Lou Williams, Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute, Department of Recreation and Parks General Manager Michael Shull, and more than 50 young basketball players took in part ribbon-cutting event at the Normandie Recreation Center in Pico-Union, unveiling three renovated courts.
"These courts are more than just a place for our children to stay active and experience the thrill of sports -- they mark a major step forward in our work to expand access to youth sports in Los Angeles," Garcetti said.
"This transformative gift from the Ballmers and Clippers is helping countless young Angelenos in every zip code to develop their talents on and off the court."
The donation could help increase the participation of girls in basketball in Los Angeles, as a large number of the courts being renovated are located in communities where Garcetti's Girls Play L.A. initiative is driving higher participation by young women in the city's youth sports programming, officials said.
"I grew up playing basketball wherever I could, and it's because of courts just like this one that I'm standing up here as an NBA player," Williams said. "I'm grateful to play for a team with leadership that cares about the community, and to play in a city like L.A. where the community and its leaders support the team in return."