Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms unveiled the new outdoor Atlanta Hawks community basketball court at Selena S. Butler Park, adjacent to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center. Principal Owner Tony Ressler, CEO Steve Koonin, Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, first-year guard Trae Young, Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins and Atlanta Hawks Foundation Executive Director David Lee were all on site for the ceremony.
Also in attendance were John Dargle, Jr., City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, and City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong as well as Dr. Elder Bernice King.
“Dr. King’s legacy is one of service, selflessness and universal human dignity,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “The Atlanta Hawks’ investment in our communities continues his legacy, and Atlanta is fortunate to have a hometown team that gives so much to its neighbors and fans.”
The Selena S. Butler Park outdoor courts mark the sixth Atlanta Hawks court renovation project completed in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Recreation. These courts will be the first that feature a special black-and-gold color scheme marking the 50th anniversary of the Atlanta Hawks. The unique color scheme also pays tribute and honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his contributions to the City of Atlanta and the country. Previous Atlanta Hawks basketball court renovations include Grant Park, Bessie Branham Park, William Walker Recreation Center, Coan Park and Central Park basketball courts.
“Thank you to the Atlanta Hawks, Dr. Elder Bernice King, and partners for being here today and for helping make this project a reality,” said John Dargle. “Atlanta is the birthplace of Dr. King and the recreation center and these courts represent his legacy. Through our work and our partnerships Atlanta Parks and Rec works to offer exceptional amenities, programs, and facilities to residents and visitors and these courts are an example of that.”
“We are humbled to partake in honoring Dr. King and his legacy as our team celebrates 50 years in the city of Atlanta,” Steve Koonin said. “On behalf of our fans and our partners at the city, State Farm and UPS, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy than by putting a commemorative 50th anniversary court next to the MLK Recreation Center, and we are delighted to find another meaningful way to unite this city through the sport of basketball.”
At the event, both State Farm and Goodr teamed up to provide a free pop-up grocery “store” for more than 100 seniors in attendance as part of the State Farm Neighborhood of Good activation. Hawks and UPS co-branded basketballs were handed out to the youth in attendance. UPS shipped and delivered the court.
The event had special appearances from team mascot Harry The Hawk, the Hawks ATL Dancers and the Hawks’ Flight Crew. The brothers of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity from Morehouse College also performed a step routine.
In 2015, the Atlanta Hawks Foundation pledged to revamp 25 metro Atlanta basketball courts by 2020. These renovations will positively affect approximately 465,000 residents throughout Atlanta. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms continues to work to ensure our neighborhoods and communities thrive and provide world-class infrastructure and services.